Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting said Ben Stokes’ remarkable innings was as good as anything he has seen in Test cricket, as England levelled the Ashes in sensational circumstances.
England were 286-9 in pursuit of 359 at Headingley and staring down the barrel of a 2-0 deficit that would have seen Australia retain the urn with two matches to spare.
But Stokes played one of the great Test innings and his unbeaten 135 steered England to the unlikeliest of one-wicket victories in front a pumped-up crowd on Sunday.
Ponting was effusive in his praise when assessing Stokes’ performance on Sky Sports and stated the all-rounder did not get one decision wrong.
“I’m not sure I’ve seen anything better than that on a Test ground, to be honest,” he said.
“He scored two off 64 balls, but we always felt that if he was there then England were going to be in with a chance to win.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) August 25, 2019
“Deep down he knew that as well. He wanted to be the man to be there at the end regardless of how long it took.
“Some of that hitting today – when it was 73 to win and nine down – he had to go there and then he pulled it off. That was brilliant.
“Decision-making plays such a big part in any innings that you play. He got every decision right today under extreme pressure – the way that he hit the boundaries and maintained the strike.”
The fourth Test begins at Old Trafford on September 4, with the series now locked at 1-1.