Ben Stokes’ Headingley heroics: How cricket reacted to Ashes epic

Following Saturday’s Ashes Rewind on Sky Sports, we bring you the best reaction to Ben Stokes’ Headingley heroics in the third Test last August…

  • How the Ashes Watchalong unfolded

The Report

Ben Stokes wrote his name into Ashes folklore with an astonishing century as England levelled the series with a historic one-wicket win at Headingley, writes Sam Drury from Headingley…

Stokes finished unbeaten on 135 as England recorded their highest successful chase in one of the most remarkable finishes in Test cricket.

The all-rounder scored all but one run in a last-wicket stand of 76 with Jack Leach (1no) and thumped the winning runs through the covers to spark wild celebrations among a crowd at Leeds who could scarcely believe what they had just seen.

SCORECARD | AS IT HAPPENED

‘You cannot do that Ben Stokes’

Sir Ian Botham had 1981, Andrew Flintoff 2005, while 2019 belongs to Ben Stokes after a remarkable Ashes win at Headingley, writes David Currie from Leeds…

“No way. No, no way. You cannot do that, Ben Stokes!”

England’s remarkable summer started with some genius from Stokes, a stunning one-handed catch on the boundary in their Cricket World Cup opener against South Africa that prompted those exact words from Sky Sports’ Nasser Hussain.

After then playing a major hand in some Super-Over madness that saw England lift said World Cup, Stokes was again at the heart of a truly incredible win at Headingley, one to rival not only that late Lord’s drama in mid-July but anything in cricket that has come before.

Stokes joins Botham as Headingley hero

Ben Stokes added his name to the cast of Headingley heroes but had some stellar support acts as the Ashes stayed alive, writes David Ruse

What they said

England match-winner Ben Stokes: “It was unbelievable and something I will never forget. I’ve got to take it all in. I’m not sure it will ever happen again. It is right up there [with the World Cup win]. I love being part of those challenges you get faced with – we are playing at the highest level and you don’t expect anything else. There is nothing better than being there at the end and getting your team over the line.”

England captain Joe Root: “To try and sum up Stokes’ innings in words is impossible. Outrageous batting. He has got previous and he has got that in the bank, he had to call upon all that but to stay as calm and collected as he did in the moment took a great amount of skill, courage and belief in his own ability. It is a fabulous marker for everyone. I am still trying to get my head around everything, it was just amazing.”

Sir Ian Botham: “I’ve banged the Stokes drum for a long time now and I know when other players see him they think there is something special about him. He is very very valuable to cricket not just England, he will sell the game worldwide. He should enjoy every moment. It was a really remarkable performance.”

Sky Sports’ Nasser Hussain: “That was unbelievable from Stokes. What struck me was that he never seems to know when to give up. He is exhausted; he’s done the World Cup, he bowled a superb spell yesterday; he must be so tired. So to have the clarity of thought that he did when you are so tired and under so much pressure is superb. He took the right decision at the right time – every time.”

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