England all-rounder Ben Stokes wasn’t ready to see the final ball of the fourth Ashes Test as England tailenders were vying for a draw.
England started their day with both openers Zak Crawley and Haseeb Hameed carrying from their overnight score of 30 from 11 overs on Day 4.
Hameed was dismissed by Scott Boland in the 20th over as his struggles with his footwork once again resulted in his dismissal for a low score. Nathan Lyon crashed into the stumps of Dawid Malan with a slider which the batter responded with a dull movement of the body.
However, Crawley stood up to the occasion and played some great shorts against Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in the course of bringing up his fifth Test half-century.
The Kent batter’s stupendous knock was halted by Cameron Green as the bowler trapped him before the wicket for LBW on 77.
Ben Stokes scores 60 in the second innings before being cheekily dismissed
England skipper Joe Root alongside Stokes marched towards building another big partnership but their alliance was just limited to 60 runs before Root nicked behind one off Boland’s bowling.
Stokes, who was involved in a brilliant 128-run stand with Jonny Bairstow, played some array of spectacular shots to keep England’s scoreboard moving.
In the 75th over, Stokes poked Lyon’s extra bounce delivery to Steve Smith at the first slip region to end his excellent efforts with the bat on 60.
Bairstow, who scored a whirlwind 113 to rescue England from another embarrassing total, was on a mission with wicketkeeper Jos Buttler to save the Test as England were far away from the target 388 runs.
However, Pat Cummins and Scott Boland ensured England’s core batters were back to their dugout as both Butler and Bairstow along with Mark Wood were dismissed in the final session, which held everyone’s nerves.
Watch: Ben Stokes hides his face with his shirt as James Anderson plays the final ball of fourth Test
Australia were just two wickets shy from scripting another victory against their arch-rivals and make it 4-0 but Jack Leach and Stuart Broad combined to produce one of the best defensive batting shows.
Leach was dismissed by Steve Smith in the 100th over as he edged to David Warner in the slip cordon. To save the Test was left on England’s senior players Broad and James Anderson.
— Hrithik Sharma (@imhrithiksharma) January 9, 2022
Broad safely negated Lyon’s penultimate over with leaving the final over to his close friend Anderson to play.
Anderson blocked four balls successfully, as he was ready to play the final two deliveries, the broadcasters panned the camera towards the England dugout where an anxious Stokes was seen hiding his face behind his shirt.
Stokes, by any chance, didn’t want Anderson to get out to the Australians and the 39-year-old player tapped the final ball to give his teammates a sigh of relief.