Harry Brook scored 75 as England kept the Ashes alive before Chris Woakes and Mark Wood sealed a thrilling three-wicket victory over Australia on the fourth day of the third Test at Headingley.
England’s successful chase of 251 reduced their series deficit to 2–1 and kept alive their hopes of becoming the second team to win the Ashes 2–0 after Don Bradman’s Australia in 1936/37.
After lunch, when skipper Ben Stokes (13) and Jonny Bairstow (5) were dismissed by Mitchell Starc (5-78), the Ashes seemed to be slipping away, leaving England 171-6 and still 80 runs away from their target.
However, Brook (75 off 93) – having been pushed to his favored No.5 and Moeen Ali promoted to No.3 – was impressive on his home ground, mixing corseting drives and cuts with restrained batting But 21 runs were needed because of the threat of a dramatic Test. , A late twist.
It was left to Woakes (32) – with whom Brook put on 59 runs for the seventh wicket – and Wood (16 off 8 balls) to secure victory, hitting Australian captain Pat Cummins for six at fine leg and Starc Gave four runs to Before Woakes hit the decisive boundary off Starc, Headingley erupted.
Australia missed out on retaining the urn at the earliest possible opportunity and will instead look to clinch the series from Wednesday 19 July at Emirates Old Trafford. sky game
An England victory in Manchester will set up a blockbuster, winner-take-all final at the Kia Oval at the end of the month, a series this spectacular probably deserves.
The fact that England are still in it is credit to Stokes, who struggled with a glute problem and scored 80 in the first innings, taking his side from 142-7 to 237 all out in reply to Australia’s 263 .
Stokes could not recreate that magic, nor his match-winning innings against Australia at this ground four years ago, while captain Brook, Woakes and Wood proved to be the heroes at Headingley this time.
Starc’s five wickets go in vain and England’s battle continues
England were heavy favorites on the win predictor when they resumed at 27–0, but cloudy skies above gave Australia confidence as they looked for early breakthroughs and Starc had Ben Duckett lbw for 23 and Moeen for five. Bowled on the leg stump on the run to win 42-0. Got 60-2.
Joe Root (21) shared a partnership in the thirties with opener Jack Crawley (44) and Brook, but when he was dismissed by a short ball from Pat Cummins, England were 131-4 and still in their 30s. 120 runs behind the target.
Crawley’s innings was a microcosm of his international career – playing beautifully, without any pressure, before falling as he edged Mitchell Marsh behind wicket-keeper Alex Carey.
Crawley departed after a change of ball as Australia got movement with replacement Dukes, Root soon removed Carey down the leg-side as he was fluttering at the bridge.
Stokes struck down the leg-side early in the second session, smashing a left-arm seamer through the covers off a ball from Starc for four, and when Bairstow pulled the same ball onto his stumps Australia was in the news.
However, Brook scored a 67-ball fifty and became the fastest man to pass 1,000 Test runs in terms of balls faced (1,058) before being dismissed by five-wicket hauler Starc.
Australia’s last chance came when Bairstow’s stumping at Lord’s and a backpedaling carry after a haircut-gate in Leeds this week – a pantomime villain – dropped Wood for 14 when four were needed.
Watch live Day 1 of the fourth Ashes Test sky sports cricket On Wednesday 19th July. Build-up from 10am, first ball at 11am. You can stream the men’s and women’s Ashes series now,