Chris Woakes and Harry Brook put on an impressive display with the bat, supported by Mark Wood’s crucial contribution in the final moments of the game, leading England to a thrilling 3-wicket victory over Australia on Day 4 of the third Test at Headingley Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Five years ago Ben Stokes scripted history by pulling off one of the most remarkable victories in the history of Test cricket against Australia. Now, five years later the result still favoured England, Australia was once again on the receiving end but the only difference was Woakes and Stokes switching their roles.
England resumed the session with a score of 154/4 with Harry Brook batting (40*) and Ben Stokes (7*) on the crease.
Australia tipped the balance of scale as Mitchell Starc dismissed Stokes and Bairstow in quick succession.
Starc with his experience ensured Stokes didn’t pull off another Headingler miracle on them. The ball glanced off his bat and went straight into the hands of Alex Carey.
Bairstow was next to follow as he tried to go for a bid drive, found an inside edge and the ball crashed into the stumps.
Brook held England’s innings together after facing an unprecedented setback. Chris Woakes joined hands with him and they pushed England close to victory with a half-century stand.
With the game slipping away from their hands, Starc was called back into the thick of the action as Harry Brook continued to carry the hosts towards the finish line successfully.
He sent back the young England batter with the hosts needing just over 20 runs to win and leaving Australia just three wickets away from victory.
But, Mark Wood hit a crucial six off Pat Cummins next over and then smashed a Starc half-volley for four in the next over to put all fears of an Australian comeback back to their place.
Woakes finished off the game by finding the fence and the crowd let out a nostalgic roar that echoed the feeling of 2019.
Earlier in the match, England ended day three at 27/0, with Ben Duckett (18*) and Zak Crawley (9*) unbeaten. They are chasing 251 runs to keep the Ashes alive.
On Day 3, Australia was bundled out for 224 in their second innings. Important knocks came from Head (77), Usman Khawaja (43) and Marnus Labuschagne (33). Australia was once reduced to 90/4, but a 41-run stand between Head and Mitchell Marsh (28) and another 41-run stand between Head and Todd Murphy (11) took Aussies lead to 250 runs.
Stuart Broad (3/45), Chris Woakes (3/68), Mark Wood (2/66) were the best bowlers for England. The pace trio helped England get a tight grip on the game. Moeen Ali also took two wickets.
Also, England was in huge trouble in their first innings and was at 87/5 at one point with Zak Crawley (33) being a key contributor at the top. Another Headingley masterclass from Stokes (80 in 108 balls with six fours and five sixes) and important knocks from Moeen Ali (21) and Mark Wood (24 in eight balls, with one four and three sixes) took England to 237.
England were trailing Australia by 26 runs.
Pat Cummins, the skipper was the best bowler for Aussies, taking 6/91. Mitchell Starc took two wickets. Mitchell Marsh and Todd Murphy got one each.
England put Australia to bat first and the visitors were bundled out for 263 runs in 60.4 overs.
Australia slipped to 85/4, but with a 155-run stand for the fifth wicket between Mitchell Marsh (118 in 118 balls, 17 fours and four sixes) and Travis Head (39 in 74 balls), the Aussies were back on track. But after the dismissal of these two batters, Australia experienced another collapse and was bundled out for 263 runs.
Wood (5/34) was the pick of the bowlers for England. Chris Woakes (3/73) and Stuart Broad (2/58) also bowled really well.
Brief Score: AUS 263 & 224 (Travis head 77, Usman Khawaja 43; Stuart Broad 3-45) vs England 237 & 254/7 (Harry Brrok 75, Zack Crawley 44; Mitchell Starc 5/