Stokes' stunning century gives England hope in 2nd Ashes Test after Bairstow row
July 2, 2023 06:45 PM
England captain Ben Stokes struck a stunning unbeaten hundred to give his side hope of an extraordinary win in the second Ashes Test at Lord's on Sunday following the controversial dismissal of Jonny Bairstow.
England were 243-6 at lunch on the fifth day, with Stokes 108 not out.
The hosts still need a further 128 runs to reach an imposing victory target of 371 as they looked to level this five-match series at 1-1.
But shortly before the interval they lost Bairstow, the last of their specialist batsman, for just 10 runs.
Bairstow carelessly wandered out of his ground after ducking a bouncer from Cameron Green and quick-thinking wicketkeeper Alex Carey under-armed the ball onto the stumps.
Bairstow thought he had secured his ground by tapping his bat behind the crease. The decision was referred to third umpire Marais Erasmus, who ruled Bairstow had been stumped, with England now 193-6.
The usually sedate crowd at the 'Home of Cricket' reacted in fury with a chant of "Same old Aussies, always cheating" in a reference to a a 2018 ball-tampering scandal in South Africa that led to year-long bans for Australia stars Steve Smith and David Warner.
Incoming batsman Stuart Broad told Carey "you'll be forever remembered for that".
Stokes, angered by the decision, started to hit out and on 77 he slammed a fierce pull back at Pat Cummins which the Australia captain dropped.
Stokes then hooked Green for three sixes off successive deliveries -- the second dropped over the boundary by Mitchell Starc -- to compete a stunning 142-ball hundred.
England were left hoping Stokes could repeat his Headingley heroics of 2019 when the all-rounder's astounding unbeaten century secured a thrilling one-wicket win in an Ashes Test as the side reached a total of 359 -- their highest fourth-innings winning chase against Australia.
Earlier, Ben Duckett fell short of a coveted Test century at Lord's for the second time in the match. The left-handed opener was out for 83, after making 98 in England's first-innings 325.
But in helping Stokes add 132 for the fifth wicket in the second innings he had at least kept England's hopes alive after they had been in dire straits at 45-4.
England resumed on 114-4 still needing a further 257 runs to complete their second-highest chase in the fourth innings to win a Test, behind last year's 378 against India at Edgbaston.
Duckett, reprieved late Saturday when Erasmus ruled Starc had grounded the ball while taking a catch in the deep, was 50 not out, with Stokes, unbeaten on 29.
But the odds were against England, with no side having ever made more to win in the fourth innings of a Test at Lord's than West Indies' 344-1, which featured an unbeaten double century from Gordon Greenidge.
Australia, however, were a bowler down with off-spinner Nathan Lyon -- who had limped out to bat at No 11 on Saturday -- off the field with the severe calf tear he had suffered while fielding Thursday.
Stokes was given out lbw to a Starc yorker on 39 but his immediate review revealed an inside edge.
Australia still tried to lure England's fifth-wicket duo to their doom with more short-pitched bowling.
And they were eventually rewarded when Duckett, who had shown good judgement, tried to hook a Josh Hazlewood delivery that climbed on him only to glove behind, with a leaping Carey holding a fine one-handed catch above his head.