England v Australia 3rd Test scorecard and result: Ben Stokes century gives England victory

Jack Leach rushes to congratulate Ben Stokes
Jack Leach rushes to congratulate Ben Stokes

England v Australia 3rd Test at Headingley - England win by one wicket

Australia 1st inns: 179 all out (Labuschagne 74, Warner 61; Archer 6-45)

England 1st inns: 67 all out (Denly 12; Hazlewood 5-30, Cummins 3-23)

Australia 2nd inns: 246 all out (Labuschagne 80; Stokes 3-56, Archer 2-40, Broad 2-52)

England 2nd inns: 362-9 (Stokes 135*, Root 77, Denly 50; Hazlewood 4-85)

Stokes shines as England win

Ben Stokes produced a breathtaking unbeaten century to drag England to a one-wicket victory over Australia on a pulsating fourth day of the third Ashes Test match at Headingley.

Little more than a month after a Man of the Match display to win the World Cup for his country, Stokes conjured an even more remarkable effort under the most intense pressure as he made a quite brilliant unbeaten 135 to draw England level in the series and keep the Ashes alive.

Forced to open his shoulders after Australia took five wickets in a short period of time after lunch, Stokes took Nathan Lyon around the ground with the full repertoire, including a switch-hit six despite losing his balance, and was equally happy picking off the opposition quicks.

With Jack Leach standing firm at the other end, Stokes blasted England to within touching distance when, as in the World Cup final, a dose of great fortune helped complement some of the greatest batting you will see.

First, Lyon fumbled when Leach was out of his ground having been sent back from taking a single, and then the Aussie spinner landed Stokes lbw only to be turned down by the umpire. The decision would have been overturned by DRS, but Tim Paine's side had wasted their final review on a ball which clearly pitched outside leg in the previous over.

England were never likely to chase down such a mammoth total without a little luck, but it was the brilliance of Stokes which won them the Test as a final flourish for four ended an enthralling contest and set up an unmissable series finale.

Fun in the sun

Headingley was baked in sunshine when England resumed on the fourth morning needing 203 runs to keep their hopes of regaining the urn alive, captain Joe Root not out overnight on 75.

However, following a disciplined start from Australia's seamers, spinner Nathan Lyon drew blood when David Warner held a brilliant catch at first slip after Root had sent an edge flying past Paine.

Jonny Bairstow quickly set about overcoming that early setback, brushing off his own recent form slump with a busy and bustling 36 that sparked a previously watchful Stokes into life as they took England to Lunch on 238-4, only 121 away from their victory target of 359.

Bairstow's dismissal to the excellent Josh Hazlewood (4-85) straight after the break, quickly followed by Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes, swung the pendulum back in favour of the tourists and when Jofra Archer's breezy cameo ended on 15, England's Ashes hopes were all but gone.

Stuart Broad was pinned lbw by the excellent James Pattinson moments later, leaving Stokes to look on in despair from the other end as he faced the prospect of being left stranded.

Stokes tees off

He would not be bowed, though, finding a stubborn ally in Jack Leach as the pair shared a partnership of 76, of which Leach contributed just one from 17 balls as he left Stokes to take the attack to Australia in devastating fashion.

Lyon was first to meet the wrath of Stokes' blade and when Hazlewood returned, he was sent into the stands in consecutive balls as England's summer saviour soared past three figures.

In typical Stokes fashion, there was no celebration of this personal milestone as he continued his relentless drive towards the winning line, one which might not have come had Australia been able to review when Lyon had a huge lbw appeal against Stokes turned down with only two runs needed to win.

At a ground where the stars have aligned for England before, Stokes survived and when Leach scampered a single in the following over, Stokes finished the match in style, flashing Pat Cummins through cover for four and sending Headingley into raptures.

Stokes, with his arms now aloft, soaked up the adulation as he celebrated one of the greatest Ashes performances of all time, one which may even have surpassed those famous heroics of Sir Ian Botham.

As Stokes walked from the field of play to the backdrop of deafening noise, he was met by players from both sides, including the sidelined Steve Smith who could only say 'unbelievable mate.'

It was nothing less. England stood on the brink of losing the Ashes just as they had stood on the brink of losing the World Cup final. And then Ben Stokes said no, not today.

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