By Peter Hall
LEEDS, England (Reuters) – An extraordinary 135 not out from Ben Stokes earned England an exciting one-wicket victory in the third Ashes test on Sunday to level the series against Australia at 1-1, with the home side chasing down a record target of 359 in dramatic fashion.
Starting the day looking to prevent Australia from retaining the Ashes, England were 286-9, still 73 runs short of their target. The tourists needed only the win to ensure a series defeat was impossible and the urn would stay in their possession.
However, with one wicket left, England one-day World Cup hero Stokes knew everything depended on him and he smashed a remarkable eight sixes to all corners of the ground to get England within touching distance of their highest-ever second-innings total to win a test match.
Nathan Lyon missed an easy run-out chance to dismiss England number 10 batsman Jack Leach and Stokes survived loud lbw shouts, with Australia unable to review, before, fittingly, Stokes hit the winning boundary to spark euphoria at Headingley.
(Reporting by Peter Hall; editing by Clare Fallon)