there it is! Flayed through the covers, Stokes has completed the Miracle of Headingley Part II! Holy hand grenades, Stokes is a monster! He throws his arms wide and roars! England win by one wicket and the series is level in the most heart-stopping fashion imaginable!
4.50pm: Test is best, Test is best, Test is best. We never wavered, we promise... Still two to come in this Ashes series, too, which is on course to become a classic, locked at 1-1 after England's resurrection. It was Botham-esque, it was Butcher-esque, it was Kusal Perera-esque from Ben Stokes, who continues to work off the most extraordinary scripts. The finish was part World Cup final, part Durban 2019, but mostly it was Stokes doing the things mere mortals can only dream of (before we even consider his bowling on days two and three). I said earlier that Headingley was a ground of strange juju, and you'd better believe that's been borne out once again. Time for me to wrap up, however, and leave you with a more considered recap of the day, from Valkerie; there'll be plenty more to come from our team at the ground. Thanks for coming with us on another magical mystery tour, your comments helped keep the engines running. From myself, Matt and Thilak, it's cheerio for now. It's been another glorious day in cricket. Bye!
4.35pm: Australia's Tim Paine: "Yeah, it's hard to take, losing from that position, got to tip your hat sometimes. Played an unbelievable innings and took it away from us. Probably the best Test innings I've seen, so well played to Ben. It was, we thought we had enough, bowlers had got us in a position, we'd create enough chances to win the game, but Ben played unbelievable. Joe and Denly kept them in the hunt, overall it was a terrific Test match. You're always a bit worried with Ben, he bats with the tail very well, things you can do differently, cricket is a game of inches and we had a few opportunities. Not the end of the world, one game of cricket and we've still got some opportunity to come back in the series. [Defeat affect team?] If you let it, it can, but you've got to play with skill, no emotion. We've created enough chances to win two Test matches. We think we'll be right in the mix for the next two."
Joe Root: "Said we have to believe while there are two people alive and breathing out there. Witnessed some freakish things out there this summer, didn't think it would be quite same again... Incredible atmosphere, just pleased to be standing here and enjoying the moment. [Stokes?] That was just incredible, trying to sum it up in words is impossible. Outrageous. He's got history and all that in the bank, but to stay as calm and composed in the moment as he did showed a great amount of courage and belief in his ability. Shows you should never give up. [Leach?] He was calm enough to take off his glasses and clean them between balls, he was a big part of that partnership. You've both got to be in it. He did a fantastic job, still trying to get my head around it, to be honest. [Momentum] Like to think so, when you're on the right side of these results it carries a huge amount of weight, it can make a big difference. Hard work to do and things to improve on but for us to win in that manner is fantastic. Ben deserves all the plaudits he is given."
Funnily enough, Ben Stokes is Man of the Match: "I just twanged my glute, was all right, just heavy legged. Adrenaline keeps you going, never until it's over, that's what I kept on thinking. The challenges you face at the highest level, there's nothing better than being there at the end. Today has been incredible, still hasn't quite sunk in yet. If it was going to take all day to get the runs, I was prepared to do that. When Leachy came in, I knew we had to go. They might be the most crucial balls he faces in his career, and for him to stand there and do that was amazing. [Celebration at the end] It was the best kiss I've ever had!"
4.30pm: Nope, still not sure what that was. Here's Stokes: "Dunno. Never give up, not over till it's over. When Leachy came in it was clear what had to be done, just saying five and one. Leachy's done it before, he's got 92 as nightwatchman, so I backed him. I couldn't watch at the end. When it got down to 20s, I started thinking I could rein in a bit. I had to try and go when it was 70s, 60s, 50. I was so in the zone... Eh. We had to win to stay in the Ashes, we've got to move into the next game, we've got some momentum. Got to recharge and hit the ground running in the next Test. Just have to try and take it all in, not sure that will ever happen again. [In the] top two feelings I've had in my career."
"Finding it pretty hard to forget about the dodgy LBW decision," says Mal. "After all, it changed the result. At least the missed run-out was down to the players." Yes, it was a poor call
"LOL. It's easy for you to 'forget' about the injustices that won England the game in your partial orgasming over England's win. Pipe down and get back to objective commentating." The DRS is there for such moments, Frank Vieri. If Australia hadn't wasted their last one, barely five minutes before on a complete punt, the case would be different
"I said this when root got out that match is not over until you get Ben Stokes out.you didn't publish my comment then." Apologies Faisal. You knew
Corniel Seddon : "This has been an enthralling match and an incredible reminder of how why Test match cricket is the best format of the game!"
4.20pm: How do you follow up the World Cup final? Well, by finishing 135 not out to complete England's highest-ever successful fourth-innings run chase, with only the last man for company, that's how! Headingley is a cauldron, the Australians are queuing up to shake Stokes hand, and we have seen something extraordinary! The second-highest tenth-wicket stand to win a Test, and Stokes did it almost single-handedly - scoring 74 of 76, to Leach's one! And all this after being bowled out for 67 in the first innings; making this the fourth-lowest total from which a team has gone on to win (all the others came in the 19th century). Forget about the missed run-out, forget about the dodgy lbw decision and the burned review, and let's just be thankful we were alive on this day to witness a finish like that. Stokes is embraced by Joe Root in the middle, and the captain looks like he can't believe what he has seen. The crowd are still on their feet and the Ashes, by the way, remain alive.
round the wicket, banged into the ribs and Leach jabs it past short leg, they scamper through and SCORES ARE LEVEL! Leach's first run, too
"Please don't tell me that another umpiring error won it for England," gulps AC
short and at the body, 85mph/137kph and Leach shovels it away, leg gully cleans up
slams down a bouncer, high over the batsman's head
And after all that, Jack Leach is on strike. Two to win and keep the series alive. Scratch that, a tie would keep the Ashes alive... AAARRRGGGHH!!
Would have been overturned on DRS! Hitting middle and leg stump according to Hawk-Eye. Poor decision, you have to say, but Australia had wasted their last review in the previous over
goes for the slog-sweep, hit on the pads, Wilson shakes his head! Lyon can't believe it, Australia have no reviews! That looked a pretty good shout, pitching on middle and leg. Did it straighten enough?
missed run out! Leach is charging down, he's miles out of his ground as the throw comes in... but Lyon drops it! Can you believe it? Stokes reverse-swept, picked out backward point, but Leach was headlong down the pitch looking for a non-existent single
pushed through and cut firmly but can't get it through
The field comes up now... Two to win, two for immortality
tossed up, and he goes down town... Hanging in the air... There's a man on the rope... Gets it over his head for six! Stokes wasn't sure, it wasn't out of the middle, he crouched, he watched - and then the crowd erupted!
pushed through quicker and he cuts, into a gap behind point but again turns down the single
dragged down a touch outside off, Stokes slams a cut to the man on the boundary
Stokes is exhausted here, and he couldn't watch as Leach faced up. Is he going to try and finish it in two hits?
Here's Dean: "An innings of two such extremes. 2 off 50 overnight and now this!"
pitched up, skids into the pads, appeal for lbw but looked leg side. Australia review, but it's a desperate one, pitching well outside leg
Have Australia got a Harmison here?
banged in short, 88mph bumper and it clears the ducking Leach
Head is in Leach's ear at short leg. Three slips, and leg gully
Obligatory shout, from ShaileshR: "Marcus Harris just dropped the Ashes?"
slower ball, Stokes cushions it through mid-off, and they'll take the one
Headingley magic, man!
smashed down the ground, Stokes is on the rampage, the target now in single figures! Hazlewood threw himself full length but couldn't cut it off
short ball, cracked on the pull, through Warner's dive on the rope! Was it a catchable chance? Hard to tell, but it was travelling!
dropped! Sliced to third man, Marcus Harris can't hold it... The ball carried, he got his hands there, couldn't cling on! Very similar to Simon Jones in 2005...
Pat Cummins switches ends
"It's 50-48 in favor of Australia in terms of boundary count right now," notes Bharat. "If Stokes continues I think he might take them home on that count as well. "
"Is there a super day if this test ties?" cackles HG
floated up from round the wicket, Leach blocks stoutly on the front foot
Slip, gully, short leg and silly mid-off
flat offbreak outside off, Stokes goes back and chops a single out to deep point, takes the one
Here's NickJintheUSA: "I never thought I would ever witness anything as majestic as Botham's innings in '81. Guess I was wrong"
pushed through, Stokes turns down the single punching through the covers
slower, Stokes aims a little reverse-prod at it and misses
|Toss||England, elected to field first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Series result||5-match series level 1-1|
|Match number||Test no. 2357|
|Hours of play (local time)||11:00 start, Lunch 13.00-13.40, Tea 15.40-16.00, Close 18.00|
|Match days||22,23,24,25 August 2019 - day (5-day match)|
|Points||England 24, Australia 0|