Australia were fast closing in on a win which would have seen them retain the Ashes in Leeds, however all-rounder Ben Stokes had other ideas and he put in a performance the likes of which will not be seen again for some time. The result at Headingley even earned itself a mention at the G7 Summit where Australian PM Scott Morrison said that he was expecting some ‘stick’ from Boris Johnson.
“I’m sure he will give me a hard time about the fact they clipped us in the latest Ashes,” said the Australian premier, before adding, “which many of you from other countries wouldn’t have the faintest idea what I’m talking about – but the Australian journalists and British journalists will know very, very well.”
There can be little doubt that Stokes pulled off one of the most amazing Ashes victories ever with an incredible performance. There were plenty of dramas along the way, however England stood firm with Stokes and partner Leach holding out to steer the hosts to a famous win and give them a psychological edge in the series.
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The pair shared a tremendous 76-run stand with Stokes finishing on 135 not-out and Leach one not-out off 17 balls. This was enough to level the series at one apiece and it was also enough to earn for Leach free specs for life, sponsor Specsavers confirming that it would offer the bespectacled Leach an unlimited supply of free spectacles.
The home fans were understandably jubilant with Headingley in party mood and Ladbrokes Bookmakers have reacted by slashing the odds on England winning the Ashes from 11/1 to just 6/4. With two Ashes Test matches left to play in this series, the opportunity is there for all-rounder Stokes to provide the fans with more heroic performances and with Australia now on the back-foot, we’ll be siding with England to hold firm and once again win the Ashes on home soil.