Sport has taught us no matter how great you are or how much success you've seen, pressure is always ought to get the better of you in some point. Today, amidst the Ben Stokes madness, Nathan Lyon fumbled the easiest of run-out chances with England needing two runs, thereby gifting them the match.
There are good knocks, there are great knocks, and then there's the knock that Ben Stokes played today. In what could arguably be labelled as the greatest Test knock to have ever been played, the all-rounder smacked an unbeaten 135 to single-handedly take his team home and keep the Ashes alive. But like every great knock, it had its fair share of luck, and there was a major moment which helped both England and Stokes script the historic win.
Ben Stokes went bang bang bang and from 73 needed to win with a solitary wicket in hand, he single-handedly brought down the equation to two runs needed. The equation looked pretty straightforward from there, but little did anyone know what was about to unfold next. On the penultimate ball of the 125th over, with 2 runs needed, Stokes struck a reverse-sweep straight to the hands of the short third-man fielder.
There was no single on offer, and Stokes had turned back instantly in the disappointment of missing out on a potential boundary, but Leach, without realizing this, came steaming in towards the strikers' end in pursuit of a non-existent single. Stokes sent him back, but to his dismay, Leach was half-way down the track already, and everyone stared in horror as it looked like the match was going to end in an anti-climatic fashion.
However, shockingly, as the throw came in, Nathan Lyon fumbled and failed to collect the ball cleanly, giving Leach the time he needed to get back to the crease. The two batsmen in the middle, the 13 other English players in the balcony and a crowd capacity of 18,000 people breathed a huge sigh of relief as the South Australian let go of the easy chance. Time will only tell if this will go down as the moment which cost Australia The Ashes.
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