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Ashes heartbreak: Stokes beats Australia with extraordinary, ‘iconic’ Test innings

An extraordinary century from English all-rounder Ben Stokes has deprived Australia of an Ashes-sealing victory in the third Test at Headingley.

England started the day 203 runs away from victory and lost their captain Joe Root early, before Stokes and Johnny Bairstow steered the hosts to lunch in a strong position.

Australia’s bowlers hit back after the break and England still needed 73 runs to win when no.11 Jack Leach walked to the crease.

That’s when Stokes took matters into his own hands in one of the most spectacular Test innings’ in history.

In something more akin to a Twenty20 innings, Stokes scored 75 of the next 76 runs on his way to a remarkable 135 and a stunning victory for England.

The closing overs were not without controversy.

Questionable umpiring once again helped England; this time Stokes was clearly caught LBW but Australia was out of reviews.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon had a chance to seal the match but bobbled what should have been an easy run-out chance.

The series now sits at 1-1, with two matches remaining.

Australia only needs to draw the series to retain the Ashes.

“It was one of the most iconic Test innings’ in the history of the game,” Herald Sun journalist John Anderson told Ross and John.

“He was utterly magnificent.”

Ando said this Ashes series has an “eerie similarity with 1981”.

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(Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images)