• Stokes hits 135 not out as home side level the series at 1-1
Headingley 1981 was a foregone conclusion compared with this. So, too, the World Cup final in July, as Ian Botham’s incredible exploits of 38 years ago have been matched, maybe surpassed. But on a day like this who cares about rankings anyway? Ben Stokes produced the innings of a lifetime to snatch a one-wicket victory, which keeps the Ashes alive and the game alive, while threatening to cause multiple heart failures among those lucky enough to witness this contest.
A few figures: England, bowled out for 67 in the first innings, achieved their highest-ever winning total by scoring 362 for nine at this unlikely theatre of dreams on the other side of the Pennines from Old Trafford. The last-wicket partnership – somehow unbroken – between Jack Leach and Stokes was worth 76. Stokes finished, most definitely unbeaten, on 135, which included eight sixes; he had 61 when Leach made his way to the crease.