Harry Brook and Ben Stokes tasked with getting England home at Headingley

By Sports Desk July 09, 2023

England moved to within 98 runs of another memorable Ashes victory at Headingley, with Ben Stokes back on centre stage alongside Harry Brook.

Four years on from a famous Stokes-inspired victory at the same venue, England made themselves favourites to claim a gripping third Test after another tightly-fought morning on day four.

Needing 251 to win the match and keep the series alive at 2-1, the hosts reached 153 for four at lunch. Brook was playing forcefully on 40 not out, having swapped his spot at number three for his favoured position of five, with Stokes new to the crease on seven.

The mere presence of the England captain is a major factor, with memories of his match-winning 2019 century here and last week’s 155 in a losing cause both adding weight.

Australia will still fancy their own chances of a late surge though, having picked up each of the top four in a session that would not allow either side to fully take control.

England’s openers came out in cautious mood at 27 without loss, adding 15 careful runs to the score before Ben Duckett was trapped in the crease by Mitchell Starc, lbw to a ball destined for leg stump.

Moeen Ali was the man to replace Duckett at three, a surprise switch with Brook and a hefty promotion from number seven. The all-rounder has done the job before, but last appeared at first drop in November 2018.

It was a typically bold gambit from the Brendon McCullum regime but one that did not pay off.

Moeen made five from 15 deliveries and had no answer for a 90mph rocket from Starc, forcing its way through a modest drive and pounding the stumps.

If that dismissal raised any nerves around the ground, the arrival of their primary insurance policy, Root, should have settled them. Instead, he made an unusually skittish start.

He chased his first ball well wide of off stump on a hiding to nothing and was fortunate to hit fresh air.

Moments later he demanded a quick two off Zak Crawley’s bat and almost opened up a run out chance having yet to open his account.

When he did get off the mark it was in classical fashion, stroking a cover drive to the ropes to offer the crowd a much-needed release after one boundary in the first 45 minutes.

That stroke, combined with a change of bowling, appeared to break the rhythm and the runs began to flow.

Not all of them were intentional, Crawley carving Scott Boland over the cordon and Root nicking four low past second slip, but Crawley also pinged Mitch Marsh for a pair of authoritative blows through point.

Crawley’s growing confidence cost him his wicket on 44, throwing himself into a drive off Marsh and feeding the edge through to Alex Carey.

At 93 for three, both teams were moving towards their destinations and the balance of power was impossible to tell.

Brook set about nudging things in England’s favour, taking on Boland’s natural length and collecting three quick boundaries out the middle of the bat.

A stand of 38 with Root was beginning to give the chase a sense of security, but the latter was undone unexpectedly with the lunch break in sight.

Swivelling into a pull as the returning Cummins dragged one down, he gloved it through to the keeper for a tame end on 21.

Related items

  • Brandon King named captain as West Indies squad named for three-match T20I series against South Africa Brandon King named captain as West Indies squad named for three-match T20I series against South Africa

    Brandon King has been appointed captain of the West Indies squad named to face South Africa in the upcoming three T20 International series at Sabina Park in Kingston starting Thursday, May 23. The squad has been gearing up for this exciting and highly anticipated series with a training camp held at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua. The selection panel has confirmed that Brandon King will have Roston Chase as his vice captain. Both appointments are on an interim basis.

    King was set to lead the West Indies A-Team on the recently concluded T20 tour to Nepal before he was withdrawn due to injury. Chase, appointed instead, went on to lead the A-Team to a series win against Nepal.

    The West Indies Men’s squad for the series is as follows: Brandon King (Captain), Roston Chase (Vice-Captain), Fabian Allen, Alick Athanaze, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Matthew Forde, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Shamar Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy, Gudakesh Motie, Romario Shepherd and Hayden Walsh Jr.

    Alzarri Joseph and Sherfane Rutherford will be added to the squad if their respective franchises do not reach the Indian Premier League (IPL) Final. Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran are both rested for the series and will join the squad in Trinidad on Monday, 27 May.

    “These are among the last competitive T20 International matches before the start of the World Cup,” said lead selector Desmond Haynes. “Players have the opportunity to fine-tune their skills and ensure they are as prepared as they can be for the World Cup, whether they are in the final squad or reserve pool.”

    White Ball Head Coach Daren Sammy also commented on his objectives for this series stating, “We have not played together as a team since the Australia series, but we just completed a very high-intensity training camp in Antigua. Now we have the chance to integrate some of our players returning from the IPL and build some momentum as a group going into the World Cup.”

    Tickets for the T20I Series against South Africa at Sabina Park, Jamaica are available now to buy online from the Windies Tickets service, at WINDIES TICKET PORTAL. Fans who purchase online will benefit from a 20 per cent discount compared to the box office prices, with tickets ranging from the most premium seats with the best-shaded views in the stadium through to affordable standard seats or mounds/grounds entry.

    Match schedule:

    - 23 May 1st T20I West Indies v South Africa at Sabina Park, Jamaica 2:00 pm JT/3:00 pm ECT

    - 25 May 2nd T20I West Indies v South Africa at Sabina Park, Jamaica 2:00 pm JT/3:00 pm ECT

    - 26 May 3rd T20I West Indies v South Africa at Sabina Park, Jamaica 2:00 pm JT/3:00 pm ECT

    West Indies won the last T20 International played at Sabina Park against New Zealand in August 2022, which was the last time international cricket was played at this historic venue.

     

  • IPL: Royals miss top-two chance after washout against leaders KKR IPL: Royals miss top-two chance after washout against leaders KKR

    Rajasthan Royals were denied their shot at a top-two Indian Premier League finish after rain saw a clash with Kolkata Knight Riders abandoned without a ball bowled on Sunday.

    The Royals finished third in the group stage of this year's IPL after four straight losses preceded the washout in Guwahati.

    In-form Royal Challengers Bengaluru awaits in the Eliminator for Rajasthan on May 22, with the former on a six-match winning streak to reach the playoffs.

    Pat Cummins' Sunrisers Hyderabad will face leaders Kolkata, whose last two games have been abandoned, in the first qualifier in Ahmedabad the day before.

  • IPL: Sunrisers cruise to victory to boost second-place hopes IPL: Sunrisers cruise to victory to boost second-place hopes

    Sunrisers Hyderabad eased to a four-wicket win over Punjab Kings on Sunday to boost their chances of finishing second in the Indian Premier League.

    Prabhsimran Singh helped Punjab set a target of 215, but Hyderabad chased that down with relative ease to go second, a position they will finish in should Rajasthan Royals lose to the table-topping Kolkata Knight Riders later on Sunday.

    After the Sunrisers won the toss and put Punjab in to bat, Prabhsimran top scored with 71 runs from 45 deliveries, while Atharva Taide (46 off 27) and Rilee Roussouw (49 from 24) also impressed as the Kings, already out of playoff contention, finished on 214/5.

    Hyderabad's chase got off to a terrible start as Travis Head was bowled with the first ball of the innings, but the Sunrisers' other opener Abhishek Sharma helped to steady the ship alongside Rahul Tripathi.

    Abhishek smashed his way to 66 off 28 deliveries before he was dismissed, while an important innings from Heinrich Klaasen (42 from 26) set the Sunrisers up for victory.

    Abdul Samad and Sanvir Singh finished the job as the Sunrisers reached their target with five balls to spare, and they can now look ahead to their playoff campaign.

    Data debrief: Abhishek wastes no time

    The Sunrisers overcame Head's second IPL golden duck thanks to a brilliant innings from Abhishek, who reached his half-century in just 21 balls and finished with a strike rate of 235.71.

    Tripathi and Klaasen achieved strike rates of 183.33 and 161.53 respectively, while Nitish Kumar Reddy also finished with 37 from 25 deliveries as Hyderabad made light work of a daunting target.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.