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Inspired Stokes Falls Short As Australia Win At Lord’s

  • 4 min read

England captain Ben Stokes’ swashbuckling 155 was in vain as Australia won the second Ashes test at Lord’s by 43 runs on an extraordinary final day on Sunday (Jul 2) to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Stokes launched a blistering attack after the controversial dismissal of Jonny Bairstow, smiting nine sixes and nine fours to raise hopes of a repeat of his brilliant match-winning knock against the Australians at Headingley four years ago.

But with 70 runs needed for victory, he skied Josh Hazlewood to wicketkeeper Alex Carey, who had earlier riled him by stumping Bairstow for 10 after the batsman left his crease at the end of an over.

The crowd booed loudly as Bairstow trudged off and Stokes responded by striking three sixes in an over off Cameron Green to reach his century and was unbeaten on 108 at lunch with England needing another 128 to level the series.

He continued the assault after the interval by clubbing Hazlewood for six and was dropped by Steve Smith at deep square leg, the crowd roaring with delight when the former Australia captain – usually one of the safest pairs of hands – let the ball slip out of his grasp.

Stokes welcomed Mitchell Starc back into the attack with two more maximums as he and Stuart Broad shared a century partnership for the seventh wicket, the latter contributing 11.

The England fast bowler played a key role as the drama grew, surviving a series of short-pitched deliveries and trying to rile Carey at every opportunity by holding his bat in the crease at the end of the over and staring intently at the stumps.

Stokes dabbed Green for two to pass 150 off 197 balls before attempting to clear the ropes again and giving Carey a simple catch before leaving the arena to a standing ovation.


Australia’s relief was palpable and the end came quickly.

Ollie Robinson was caught by Smith off Pat Cummins for one, and Broad’s long vigil ended when he was pouched in the deep by Green off Hazlewood for 11.

Josh Tongue and James Anderson gamely added an unlikely 27 runs, but Starc bowled the former for 19 to dismiss England for 327 and seal victory for the Australians who celebrated gleefully as they walked off to more boos from the crowd at the home of cricket.

Smith, named man of the match for his first-innings century, paid tribute to Stokes.

“It was a bit of deja vu, for sure,” he said. “He’s an unbelievable player, some of the things he can pull off. He’s a freak.

“I dropped him so I was glad we got him in the end. I didn’t pick it up initially,” Smith added.

“The way he plays, chasing totals, he gets it done. It was just an incredible knock.”

Ben Duckett earlier contributed a polished 83, sharing an excellent partnership of 132 with Stokes to drag England back into the match after they had slumped to 45-4 on Saturday.

After two pulsating matches, Australia have a firm grip on the Ashes with England needing to win the remaining three games of the series to take back the urn.

“Unfortunately, just wasn’t enough today,” Stokes told Sky Sports. “Australia changed the plans in which they were going with me so I sort of had to change the way that I was going about it as well.

“It’s a tough one to swallow getting so close and being involved in a fantastic game was awesome. We’re 2-0 down but we’ve got three games left and we’ve won series, 3-0 against New Zealand 3-0 against Pakistan, so we know we can do it.”

The third test at Headingley starts on Thursday.