Jofra Archer feared he had cost England the Ashes when his efforts to match Ben Stokes’ big hitting in the third Test came up short.
With just Stuart Broad and Jack Leach to come in the order, Archer appeared to represent England’s last realistic hope as they chased a target of 359 to beat Australia and level the series at Headingley.
Archer, the star of the drawn second match at Lord’s when on debut, hit three fours and made 15 but was then caught on the boundary by Travis Head to reduce the home side to 286-8.
Leaving Stokes to do the heavy lifting all by himself, Archer thought he had blown England’s last chance for glory in Leeds.
“I wanted to make it less hard work for Ben, but I got out,” he told reporters. “I thought I had messed the series up – not just the game but the series.
“So I am very relieved that we are still alive and fighting. Your coach always tells you, ‘Don’t leave it for anyone else’. I tried to do as much of it as I could.
“We have all seen enough cricket to know 80 to win with just one wicket left against the Australian bowling attack…
“We were very grateful to be on the winning side, that is all I can say.”
This is by far the most intense game I’ve ever seen In my life
— Jofra Archer (@JofraArcher) August 25, 2019
Leach proved to be the unlikely hero to assist Stokes, however, as England pulled off a sensational recovery with their last-wicket pair at the crease.
The hosts won in similarly dramatic fashion in the Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand and Archer believes these narrow victories provide a confidence boost to the players.
“I still watch the World Cup highlights,” he said. “But all I can say is that Headingley game was special. When [Nathan] Lyon fumbled the run out, you could hear a heartbeat in the dressing room.
“It just shows our fight. No one rolled over and played dead, everyone wanted to win, even the number 11 was very keen to get stuck in. He (Leach) will be called upon again at some point in the series.
“We got a taste of what it is like to win from nowhere, so I guess we can take that on with us.”