Mumbai: Unlike the second and third Ashes Test match, Ben Stokes couldn’t do much with the bat this time around during the fourth Ashes Test which Australia won by 185-runs.
Earlier, during the third and second Ashes Test, World Cup winning English all-rounder Ben Stokes played a crucial role by saving England from the jaws of defeat.
In both the Test matches, Stokes scored centuries which helped England to draw the match in one and win the other match. Ben Stokes’ match winning innings of 135 denied the Australian from winning the third Ashes Test and retaining the urn.
Stokes’ was again expected to repeat similar kind of performance when England were set a humongous target of 383 in the fourth innings. However, after England lost two early wickets in the form of Rory Burns and skipper Joe Root, Stokes walked in to the middle to bat after Pat Cummins sent Jason Roy back to the pavilion. During that time, the hosts still required 317 runs to win to seal the series.
However, unlike the third Test, Ben Stokes was required to play a defender’s role in order to secure a draw. The fans expected a lot from the 28-year-old, but the New Zealand-born faced only 17 balls, only to get out to a Cummins’ delivery in the 31st over.
Ben Stokes walks off after getting out
Pat Cummins bowled a back-of-a-length delivery which forced Stokes to go on the back-foot. The batsman got perplexed and in the end, he attempted to leave the ball. However, he was too late to leave the ball which snicked past his bat. Captain and wicket-keeper batsman Tim Paine left no stones unturned to catch the ball.
After Cummins started appealing, Paine also joined him to celebrate the dismissal of the man of the match of the last game. However, the on-field umpires were unmoved by the appeal from the Aussies. But, Stokes, who knew deep inside that he nicked the ball started walking towards the pavilion.
Former West Indies’ fast bowler and commentator Michael Holding told the Sky Sports, “The umpire had not moved but yet Ben Stokes walked off. You don’t see that too often in the modern game. He knew it. He just walked.”
An agonised Stokes who after getting out, vented out his anger by smashing his bat on the ground. Australia, ultimately, went on to claim victory in the fourth Test match by 185 runs and retain the Ashes.
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