Ashes 2019: England and Australia's most thrilling Test tussles after Stokes' Headingley heroics

By Sports Desk August 25, 2019

England and Australia served up another all-time Ashes classic at Headingley as the hosts somehow secured a one-wicket victory to level the series.

Joe Root's team had looked dead and buried, in both the contest and the series, when chasing a record 359 in the third Test.

Still needing another 73 when last man Jack Leach came to the crease, England pulled off a miracle thanks to Ben Stokes' unbeaten 135.

We take a look at other thrilling Ashes Tests after the humdinger at Headingley.

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  • Healy and Mooney blast Australia past Bangladesh Healy and Mooney blast Australia past Bangladesh

    Australia strolled to back-to-back victories at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup as a potent opening partnership between Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney helped beat Bangladesh by 86 runs.

    Healy’s return to form continued as she made a carefree 83 to hit the top of the tournament’s run-scoring charts, ably supported by Mooney who ended unbeaten on 81.

    Sri Lanka gave them a fright three days earlier but there were no such scares for the hosts as Bangladesh only managed 103 for nine in reply and Meg Lanning’s side climbed to second in Group A.

    Healy began with bristling intent, peeling three boundaries from Jahanara Alam’s opening over as Bangladesh’s seven-strong off-side field failed to foil the opener.

    Salma Khatun opted to take pace off the ball with five overs of spin in the Powerplay but Healy rocked back and cleared long-on to take the score to 53 without loss from the first six overs.

    The keeper-batter made it look easy as she struck sixes over long-off and then midwicket from Khadiza Tul Kubra, bringing up a brutal 26-ball fifty.

    Mooney turned over the strike before showing her own strength down the ground with three boundaries in as many overs, helping bring up the first T20I century partnership for the openers.

    Their first reprieve came when Rumana Ahmed beat Mooney’s bat and Nigar Sultana Joty was ponderous in whipping off the bails, saving the batter’s skin.

    Mooney reverse swept for four to take the stand to 122, Australia’s highest partnership for the first wicket in T20Is.

    The breakthrough finally came when Healy sliced to point off Salma, departing for 83 from 53 balls.

    Ashleigh Gardner had licence to swing and did just that in the penultimate over, carting Salma for three boundaries in her 22 from nine balls.

    The final two overs went for 30 runs and Australia rose to 189 for one from their 20 overs, their second-highest total at the Women’s T20 World Cup.

    Bangladesh’s reply began with Murshida Khatun (8) lofting Megan Schutt down the ground at the start of the fourth over but departed two balls later as Jess Jonassen took a fine catch pedalling back at mid-on.

    Sanjida Islam toe-ended to the third man boundary from her first ball and was comprehensively bowled by Schutt on her second as an eventful over ended with the score 23 for two.

    Annabel Sutherland’s first T20 World Cup spell yielded a maiden wicket as Sanjida was strangled down the leg side for three, with the score on 26 for three.

    The youngster was punished for straying down leg soon after by Fargana Hoque Pinky, who built a handy partnership for the fourth wicket with keeper-batter Nigar Sultana.

    Nigar stroked Nicola Carey through the covers for four when Lanning turned to spin, and Sutherland leaked more runs as Fargana stroked two boundaries from an over that cost 13.

    Nigar and Fargana, who struck Carey for a handsome off-drive, assembled Bangladesh’s second fifty partnership at the T20 World Cup, and it ended on exactly 50 when Nigar skied one to Lanning off Carey on 19.

    Rumana made a sprightly 13 from 12 balls but picked out Wareham on the midwicket fence to make it 95 for five and Schutt had her third when Fargana’s top-edge was gleefully caught by Healy.

    Three wickets in three balls rounded it off - Jonassen clean bowling Jahanara before Salma and Khadija were run out in successive balls.


    Scores in brief


    Australia beat Bangladesh by 86 runs, Manuka Oval, Canberra


    Australia 189-1, 20 overs (Alyssa Healy 83, Beth Mooney 81 not out; Salma Khatun 1-39)

    Bangladesh 103-9, 20 overs (Fargana Hoque Pinky 36; Megan Schutt 3-21, Jess Jonassen 2-17)

  • Ighalo answers Solskjaer's call as Man Utd season reaches crucial phase Ighalo answers Solskjaer's call as Man Utd season reaches crucial phase

    There were times last month that Odion Ighalo thought his Manchester United move was not going to happen. In fact, there were times on deadline day itself that the deal appeared dead in the water.

    "It was quiet on Thursday and then I got the impression that nothing would happen. Suddenly, in the middle of the day on Friday, things started to move," said agent Atta Aneke.

    "It was then 11pm in the evening in Shanghai. It was hectic phone business. Everyone had to stay awake until five am or six am in Shanghai."

    Ighalo, a boyhood United fan, was prepared to stay up as late as necessary to get the loan of his dreams. A peculiar transfer it might have been, but, after his performance against Club Brugge on Thursday, it was worth the frantic phone calls.

    With Marcus Rashford's back injury likely to keep him out for much of the season's remaining weeks, the news before kick-off against Club Brugge that in-form Anthony Martial had sustained another muscle problem was most unwelcome for all of a Red Devils persuasion. Except Ighalo, perhaps.

    Thrust into the floodlights for his full Old Trafford debut, and with the Europa League last-32 tie still in the balance after the 1-1 draw in the first leg, this was not a moment for indulgences. Ighalo was not in the team because Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt a sudden surge of generosity, but because United needed a strong presence and a goal threat leading their attack. Ighalo gave them both.

    There were barely 20 seconds played when Ighalo raced in behind the Brugge back four to endanger Simon Mignolet's goal. It sparked the game into life: Juan Mata was denied, Bruno Fernandes hit the post, and Brugge threatened once again from a simple goal-kick, the kind from which they scored last week.

    Fernandes and Mata were pulling the strings - they might have been joined by one, such was the quality of their interplay - but Ighalo was piecing things together. The ball was fizzed and thumped into him repeatedly, to feet, chest and head, and he found a team-mate with three out of four passes in the final third.

    Once Fernandes had scored his second Old Trafford penalty in succession after Simon Deli had been sent off for a flying save to deny Daniel James - he, apparently, wasn't convinced Mignolet's form would continue - the tie was practically under United's control. A second goal was needed to be certain; when it came, it brought the loudest cheer of the night.

    Fernandes and Mata combined again, the Spaniard cut the ball back, and there was Ighalo, still wide awake, still ready to arrive at just the right time. It was a goal he would once have never thought possible, and one he dedicated to his sister, who died a month before he came a United player.

    Scott McTominay and Fred added further goals - the latter netting a brace - and 5-0 was no less than United deserved. This was the kind of bold, accomplished display they will need in this competition when the grander teams come calling.

    Ighalo will have a major part to play in those latter rounds, particularly if Martial joins Rashford on the sidelines for long. His performance here showed he could be a valuable asset - and that it pays to keep your phone switched on.

  • England's Rory Burns quits football until cricket career is over England's Rory Burns quits football until cricket career is over

    England opener Rory Burns will not play football again until his days as a professional cricketer are over.

    Burns sustained ligament damage in his left ankle during a kickabout with team-mates ahead of the second Test against South Africa in January and was forced to undergo surgery.

    The blow came as the left-hander was proving himself a reliable source of runs at the top of the order.

    After claiming his maiden Test ton against Australia in August, Burns reached triple figures for the second time in New Zealand at the start of December. He then top-scored for England with 84 in the second innings of a 107-run defeat to South Africa in the Boxing Day Test in Johannesburg.

    The incident prior to the next Test cost Burns, who faces a race to be fit for the start of the domestic season, a place on the tour of Sri Lanka in March and led to England removing football as a warm-up activity, with county sides expected to follow suit.

    "It's taken four months out of a career and the stage I had got myself to where I was playing quite nicely," said Burns.

    "It was an avoidable setback and when you get something that's avoidable like that you probably re-evaluate whether you want to waste your time doing four months in a gym rehabbing or being on a plane to Sri Lanka.

    "So while I am still a professional cricketer I probably won't play football again."

    He added: "It's probably taken something like this to re-evaluate it; something like this to put it into perspective. It shows what the downsides of football are, I suppose. There are obviously a lot of plus points to football but I don't think I will be playing it any time again soon.

    "It was a bit freakish. Most people roll their ankle on the outside; I did going over to the inside. I think my studs got caught in the floor. But if that's the catalyst to put things right and maybe say you don't need it and keep the boys on the park, it's probably a good thing in a weird way.

    "If none of those guys get injured moving forward because football has been moved out of it then I think that's a positive thing for English cricket."

    Burns has amassed 979 runs in his 15 Test appearances and is hopeful it will not take him long to get back to his previous level.

    "I know what I need to do. You get judged on your output, so I need to get back for the start of the season, score runs for Surrey, tick all my captaincy boxes there and that will lead to hopefully getting my chance back in the Test arena," he said.

    "You're never as good as you think you are when you're doing well and you're never as bad as you think you are when you're not.

    "You're always somewhere in the middle and you just bounce along. It's remembering that. Sticking to the fundamentals of what works for you."

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