Ben Stokes produces a Headingley miracle to haul England back from brink of defeat
Hosts recover from 67 all out in first innings to level series, with two Tests to play
England chase down a record 359, as Aussies wilt under pressure cooker atmosphere
HEADINGLEY, LEEDS – After Ben Stokes’ heroic and historic efforts once again rescue England to level the 2019 Ashes series 1-1, how did the players fare in the third Test?
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Jason Roy – 3/10 – Getting found out time and time again at the top of the order in red ball cricket. Failed to make double figures in both innings of this test match. Got a corker of a delivery second time around, but still hasn’t got the technique to see of the new ball in Test cricket. Needs to be moved down the order to number four.
Rory Burns – 7/10 – Still struggling against the short ball but looking the right man for the opener’s role. Averaging 40 with 242 runs thus far in the series. Still feel that England should persevere with the Surrey batsman for the future.
Joe Root – 7/10 – Came in on a pair with massive amount of pressure on his shoulders. Proved the doubters wrong with a crucial innings of 77 in the second innings. Was let down by his seam attack on the opening day and by his openers on day two.
Joe Denly – 6/10 – Only English batsman in their first innings to reach double figures. Grinded out a gritty 50 in the second. Big weakness of the Kent man is that loose cover drive that he produces far too often. At least he has got over the obstacle of failing to get past 30 in test cricket. Would still like to see him open.
Jos Buttler – 3/10 – His struggles against the Aussies continues after two more failures. Poor shot for his dismissal in the first innings by chipping straight to cover. Comedy mix up for his run out in the second. Still clinging on to his Ashes place – but only just.
Ben Stokes – 10 /10 – Would give at least 11 if statistically plausible. What more can one have to say about this astonishing cricketer. Matched his match-winning World Cup Final innings with the best test match innings by an English batsman, to keep the hosts in the Ashes. A defiant knock of just two runs off 50 balls faced in the second innings before switching to one day mode. Smashed 72 runs off only 42 deliveries to see England over the line. Australia still couldn’t remove him after an undefeated knock of 135 at Headingley. People will remember him for that batting display, but he also hauled England back into the match with his 3-56 in Australia’s second innings. Keep him wrapped up in cotton wool before the fourth Test at Old Trafford.
Jonny Bairstow – 6/10 – Saw off the threat of the new ball in England’s second innings. Put on a crucial 86 with Stokes after opening his shoulders and reverting to his more familiar attacking role. Despite spilling a chance, kept wicket well.
Jofra Archer – 8/10 – Proved his worth as a versatile bowler by switching to bowling line and length to great effect in this test. Rewarded by picking up his first international five wicket haul. Eight wickets in the match at a cost of 85 runs. A mouth-watering prospect ahead of the next test will be seeing how he performs with the new ball alongside Jimmy Anderson.
Chris Woakes – 5/10 – Place under threat for next test after struggling against bouncers. Didn’t bowl up to the best of his ability in this match. Overall would have to say his worst performance so far in the series.
Stuart Broad – 8/10 – Could consider himself so unlucky to only grab only two wickets in Australia’s first innings. Constantly beat the bat time and time again. Could easily have ended up with a five for. Consistent as ever from the Notts’ quickie. Used the new ball to great effect in both innings.
Jack Leach – 8/10 – Should have bowled more in Australia’s second innings. Bowled tidily overall, but will only be remembered in this extraordinary test match for that one run, which will surely be the best single he has ever scored in his life.
David Warner – 7/10 – Had his best performance in the series in this test match. Back to his best with a workmanlike 61 in tough conditions. World class slip catching off pace and spin from the Aussie.
Marcus Harris – 5/10 – Came in for the out of form Cameron Bancroft to try and stiffen up a brittle top three. Did okay overall against the new ball. Lost his off stump to Leach’s first ball when going well on 19.
Usman Khawaja – 7/10 – Another fluent looking innings of 23 before a loose drive. Beginning to look like a solid number three.
Marnus Labuschagne – 9/10 – A perfect impression of Steve Smith, best words to describe this dogged character. Exemplary in leaving on line and length. Nothing seems to faze him, even after being hit by a bouncer. Rode his luck in an innings of 80 in the second – dropped three times on 14,42 and 60. Certain to keep his place at Old Trafford.
Travis Head – 7/10 – Could do nothing about the jaffa he received from Broad first time around. A valuable innings of 25 in the second. Useful batsman for the Aussies, already amassed 160 runs in the series.
Matthew Wade – 7/10 – Produced a gutsy knock of 33 in the second innings and was so unlucky with the rebound on to his leg stump in the first. Could well have done enough to keep his Ashes place for Old Trafford.
Tim Paine – 5/10 – Not the best of matches from the Aussie skipper. Wasted an unnecessary review at the death. Bad match with the bat with scores of 11 and 0. His wicket keeping was also a little untidy at times.
Josh Hazlewood – 9/10 – Excellent with the new ball here and at Lords. Hostile excellent line and length and steep bounce. Pick of the Australian attack. Bowled his heart out in both innings with 5 for 30 and 4 for 85.
Pat Cummins – 8/10 – Due to be announced as the World’s number one bowler very soon. The only Australian pace bowler to have played in all three Tests. Fast and accurate, he never tired.
James Pattinson – 6/10 – Brought back into the side ahead of Peter Siddle. Wobbled under pressure from Bairstow’s attack on day four. The least productive of Australia’s three seamers.
Nathan Lyon – 6/10 – Will have many sleepless nights about the chance he fumbled to run out Leach to retain the Ashes. Picked up his 356th test wicket at Headingley to pass Dennis Lillee’s tally. Figures took a battering in England’s second innings after the onslaught from Stokes.
The fourth Ashes Test begins at Old Trafford, Manchester, on Thursday 4 September.
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