Ben Stokes has produced a quite brilliant display with bat and ball to guide England to an incredible Third Ashes Test win. Mike Norman has the details...
"Jofra Archer then added 15 pivotal runs but when he was caught, and Stuart Broad was out lbw for a duck, England still needed 73 runs with just one wicket remaining and were trading at [36.0] in the Match Odds market."
England have produced a record-breaking run chase to win the Third Ashes Test at Headingley thanks to a herculean effort by arguably the best all-rounder in the world, Ben Stokes.
Stokes, who was sensational with the ball in helping reduce Australia to 246 all out in their second innings, scored an unbeaten 135 with England needing 359 to win the Test.
Early blow as markets chopped and changed
Commencing the day needing over 200 runs with seven wickets remaining England suffered an early blow when Joe Root was brilliantly caught by David Warner before Australia took the new ball, confident that they would get the remaining six wickets they needed to retain the Ashes.
But a superb partnership by Johnny Bairstow and Stokes before lunch flipped the Match Odds market into England's favour, the home side trading at [1.5] at the interval.
The Aussies came out firing after lunch however, taking quick wickets as first Bairstow, then Jos Buttler and Chirs Woakes fell cheaply. Jofra Archer then added 15 pivotal runs but when he was caught, and Stuart Broad was out lbw for a duck, England still needed 73 runs with just one wicket remaining and were trading at [36.0] in the Match Odds market.
Superman Stokes does it again
Not for the first time this summer however Stokes puffed out his chest and guided England to sensational glory.
Protecting no.11 batsman Jack Leach brilliantly, Stokes put his ODI hat on and started to smash the ball all over the Headingley ground.
The Aussies would have still won the Test if they had not used their last review on a nothing ball when England were 357-9. In the very next over Stokes was bowled lbw - not given by the umpire - but with Australia having no reviews left Leach wen on to score his only run of the innings before Stoke thrashed one away for four to cap a remarkable victory.
With the Series now tied at 1-1 England can be backed at [2.44] to win the Ashes, while Australia are [3.1] and the Draw at [3.4] heading into the Fourth Test at Old Trafford on Wednesday 4 September.
One-man market for SPOTY betting
The BBC Sports Personality of the Year award is usually won by a sportsperson that achieves something spectacular during the year, so it's no surprise to see Stokes now trading as the red hot [1.28] favourite given today's heroics on the back of him being the pivotal figure in helping England win the ICC World Cup earlier this summer.
Stokes has been matched at a high of [110.0] in the SPOTY Winner market but he went into this week's Third Test trading at around [3.0] following his England ODI World Cup success.
But even those odds are now a distant memory following his performance at Headingley, and should Stoke plays a big part in England reclaiming the Ashes next month then he could become the shortest price favourite in the history of SPOTY betting.