Published: Fri, August 30, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

We have given ourselves a massive chance at winning Ashes: Ben Stokes

We have given ourselves a massive chance at winning Ashes: Ben Stokes

Root's side looked dead and buried in Leeds after they were dismissed for 67 on day two, but their Ashes hopes were revived by the heroics of Ben Stokes, who scored a sublime unbeaten 135 to help seal an England-record run chase and a one-wicket victory to level the series at 1-1 ahead of the final two Tests.

Stokes' "special" century was also hailed by Kevin Pietersen, who maintained it may be better than his 2005 Ashes ton at The Oval.

On hearing Smith has tried to downplay his influence by pointing out he has yet to get him out, Archer said: "I can not get him out if he wasn't there!" All of those mental facts should sit with them next game.

Paine did, however, admit that Stokes was a "huge weapon" for England and the onus was on his team to try and "contain him in the last two Test matches".

"I'm not really sure at the moment, because Smithy is in there too, trying to get a game", he said.

Khawaja added: "I actually feel really good batting but I just haven't made any big runs lately which is obviously frustrating for me".

"The most important thing is to capitalise on those starts because if you don't capitalise on a start there are always times where you're going to get out early".

His absence was a blow to the tourists given Smith had marked his return to Test cricket following a 12-month ban that cost him the Australia captaincy with scores of 144 and 142 during a 251-run victory over England in the series opener at Edgbaston before his 92 at Lord's. I've actually been getting lots of starts, it's not like I'm in no man's territory.

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Listed to come in at No4 on his return from the Jofra Archer-induced concussion that ruled him out of the epic third Test, Smith is yet to get an opportunity, with Marcus Harris (52) and Usman Khawaja (18) seeing Australia to 77 without loss in reply to Derbyshire's 172. Archer, however, stressed England were relieved that the series was still alive and that they now had a chance to turn things around. "Which is very pleasing. we want to have depth and we want our selectors to have to make hard decisions", the rested captain said after watching Thursday's action from the sidelines.

"There were so many emotions flying around". I was inside watching on TV with Joe Denly and Jason Roy.

"After that (Lord's) innings he was like; "mate, I'm going to have to keep that box now".

In his rookie global season, Archer had already played a starring role in a thrilling World Cup final win over New Zealand but claims Headingley felt "more impossible".

"He did give us a second life in this series".

Mitchell Starc, Australia's World Cup spearhead but yet to feature in this Ashes, took three late Derbyshire wickets in one over.

"It's even a bit more than it's cracked up to be now I'm in the middle of it", he said. "I want to win the Ashes". Both with bat and ball.

"At Lord's the first ball was short, and the second, third, fourth and fifth".

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