Ashes 2019: The stunning Ben Stokes innings that kept England’s series hopes against Australia alive – timeline

How? How did he do that? From nowhere, England kept their Ashes 2019 hopes alive with the most miraculous of victories, on the back of a truly remarkable innings from Ben Stokes, unbeaten on 135 in the end, smashing the winning boundary through the covers to secure the win over Australia.

Eleven fours, eight sixes, a partnership of 76 with last man Jack Leach (who scored one), and the most unlikely of climaxes to the most incredible of Ashes Test matches.

Here are the moments that mattered in Stokes’ ridiculous knock:

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59.3 overs: Joe Denly is OUT. Ben Stokes arrives at the crease.

Denly and captain Joe Root had laid the foundations with a hundred partnership, but England still require another 218 as Stokes marks his guard.

71.6 overs: Ben Stokes blocks the final ball of the third day back to Nathan Lyon, unbeaten overnight on two.

Stokes blocks every one of the 50 balls he faces, recognising that time is on England’s side and his survival is crucial.


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77.3 overs: Joe Root is OUT. Ben Stokes has three from 67 balls.

England’s captain charges down the pitch and is well taken at slip by David Warner off the bowling of Nathan Lyon. England are still 200 adrift.

102.2 overs: Jos Buttler is RUN OUT. 

A major mix-up as Stokes says yes and then no, and Buttler can’t scramble back in time as Travis Head hits the stumps with a fine underarm flick. With the tail exposed, it appears a lost cause.

104.5 overs: Ben Stokes brings up his fifty

Stokes is beginning to find form and flow, and moves to his 50 with two through the covers.

114.6 overs: Jofra Archer is OUT. His heave across the line appears to end England’s hopes.

Stuart Broad is dismissed LBW two balls later and it seems as if Ben Stokes will be left stranded, with 73 still required and number eleven Jack Leach nervously wandering out.

118.5 overs: Ben Stokes reverse sweeps into the stands for six. England need 50.

The most extraordinary of shots at the most extraordinary of times, a switch of stance from Stokes as he plants Nathan Lyon into the crowd beyond deep point. England’s hopes are rekindled.

121.3 overs: Four, six, six. Ben Stokes goes to his hundred and England require just 21.

A smash wide of long-on, a dug out sweep over square-leg, a meaty biff for six more. Stokes nods his head, but does not celebrate his century. There is more to be done.

123.1 overs: Australia drop the Ashes, part one.

Marcus Harris can’t hold on to a tough chance diving forward as Stokes slices to third man. Stokes crunches the next two balls for four. England need eight.


Ashes player ratings from Headingley Test





1/11 Rory Burns

2/11 Jason Roy

3/11 Joe Root

4/11 Joe Denly

5/11 Ben Stokes

6/11 Jonny Bairstow

7/11 Jos Buttler

8/11 Chris Woakes

9/11 Jofra Archer

10/11 Stuart Broad

11/11 Jack Leach

1/11 Rory Burns

2/11 Jason Roy

3/11 Joe Root

4/11 Joe Denly

5/11 Ben Stokes

6/11 Jonny Bairstow

7/11 Jos Buttler

8/11 Chris Woakes

9/11 Jofra Archer

10/11 Stuart Broad

11/11 Jack Leach

123.6 overs: Australia review an LBW against Jack Leach, but the ball is pitching a foot outside leg stump.

A speculative challenge of the umpire’s decision from Tim Paine. Australia are content to lose their final review…

124.5 overs: Australia drop the Ashes, part two.

Jack Leach charges down in search of the single required to level the scores, Ben Stokes sends him back but he’s nowhere as the throw comes to Nathan Lyon on the bounce. Inexplicably, the off-spinner drops it, and Leach scurries back. 

124.6 overs: Stokes misses a sweep. He’s dead. Stone dead. Three reds on HawkEye. 

Joel Wilson shakes his head as the Australians roar their appeal. They don’t have a review. Nathan Lyon collapses. It would have been overturned.

125.3 overs: Leach prods into the legside to score his first run and level the scores. The partnership is 72.

Stokes is on strike…

125.4 overs: Ben Stokes thumps the winning runs through the covers. England have done it. 

England win by one wicket and level the Ashes at 1-1. It is their highest fourth-innings Ashes chase. 

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