In a thrilling encounter at Lord’s, Australia emerged victorious against England in the second Ashes Test, taking a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. The match will be remembered for the extraordinary performance by England’s captain, Ben Stokes, whose heroic innings brought his team tantalizingly close to victory before Australia sealed the win.
Stokes, batting at No.6, arrived at the crease on the fourth day when England was reeling at 45 for 4, chasing a daunting target of 371 runs set by the Australians. Undeterred by the challenging circumstances, Stokes displayed unwavering determination and resilience as he single-handedly kept England’s hopes alive.
In a display of unmatched skill and power, the English all-rounder smashed his way to a remarkable 155 runs, which included 9 fours and 9 sixes. His innings was a testament to his ability to counterattack and his unwavering competitive spirit. Stokes notched up his 13th Test century in just 145 deliveries, providing a glimmer of hope for England’s victory.
However, his dismissal at the hands of Josh Hazlewood dashed England’s aspirations. Despite falling short of the target, Stokes received widespread acclaim for his valiant effort. One individual who praised Stokes’ superlative performance was Indian cricket stalwart Virat Kohli, who took to social media to express his admiration. Kohli tweeted, “I wasn’t joking about calling Ben Stokes the most competitive bloke I’ve played against. Innings of the highest quality, but Australia is too good at the moment 👍.”
Kohli’s words echoed his earlier statement made when Stokes announced his retirement from ODI cricket in 2022. The Indian captain had hailed Stokes as the most competitive player he had ever faced, acknowledging his immense talent and fierce determination.
Australia’s star batsman Steve Smith also lauded Stokes’ exceptional innings, labeling him as a “freak.” Smith acknowledged Stokes’ ability to deliver under pressure and praised his audacious stroke play. Reflecting on Stokes’ knock, Smith said, “He’s an unbelievable player, some of the things he can pull off. The way he went about it, he was pretty much just trying to hit one way. He’s a freak.”
With England now trailing 2-0 in the series, they will be aiming for a comeback in the upcoming third Test at Headingley, set to commence on July 6. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli will be gearing up for the Caribbean tour, featuring all three formats, starting with the Test series in Antigua on July 12.
Despite falling short in this enthralling contest, Ben Stokes’ extraordinary innings has etched his name in the annals of Test cricket history. His courageous effort and unwavering fighting spirit have garnered admiration from fans and fellow cricketers alike, solidifying his reputation as one of the game’s true legends.