“Ben Stokes is a freak…” Steve Smith

In an epic display of skill and determination, England captain Ben Stokes showcased his batting prowess on the final day of the second Ashes Test against Australia at Lord’s. With his team facing a challenging target and the loss of crucial wickets, Stokes stepped up to the occasion and delivered an extraordinary performance that left Lord’s in a state of exhilaration.

Starting the day on 29, not out, Stokes appeared composed and unfazed as he took charge of the crease. However, something changed within him when Jonny Bairstow fell victim to Australia’s smart dismissal, leaving Stokes as the last recognized batsman. He shifted gears and began to unleash an onslaught on the Australian bowlers.

Throughout his innings, Stokes displayed remarkable shot selection and precision, accumulating runs at a brisk pace. In just 16 balls, he surged from 62 to reach the coveted milestone of 100 runs, much to the crowd’s delight at Lord’s. This remarkable achievement marked Stokes’ third century in the fourth innings of an Ashes Test, placing him alongside the legendary Don Bradman and Bert Sutcliffe.

Aware of Stokes’ capabilities, the Australian team strategically positioned fielders around the boundary to restrict his scoring opportunities. However, despite their efforts, Stokes proved unstoppable, instilling a growing belief among the spectators that England could achieve an unprecedented run chase at the historic venue.

Even though Stokes was granted a couple of reprieves when dropped on 114 and 115, Australia’s Steve Smith acknowledged the Englishman’s remarkable talent. Smith described Stokes as an “unbelievable player” and acknowledged his ability to produce extraordinary moments on the field. Smith admitted to being relieved that his team finally managed to dismiss Stokes, recognizing the exceptional nature of his innings.

Australia’s Steve Smith said, “I dropped him (on 114), so I was glad we got him. He’s an unbelievable player, some of the things he can pull off. The way he went about it, he was just trying to hit one way. He’s a freak.”

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Stokes’ heroic display demonstrated his individual brilliance and his resilience and determination to fight against all odds. The atmosphere at Lord’s was electrifying as England’s hopes soared, propelled by Stokes’ exceptional performance.

While Australia ultimately emerged victorious in the second Ashes Test, Stokes’ extraordinary innings will be remembered as one of the greatest batting displays in the sport’s history. His ability to single-handedly challenge the opposition and captivate audiences with his masterful strokes solidified his status as a cricketing legend and left an indelible mark on the game.

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