Ben Stokes heroics in vain as Australia triumph amid angry scenes at Lord’s

Ben Stokes heroics in vain as Australia triumph amid angry scenes at Lord’s

Ben Stokes produced another astonishing Ashes performance at Lord’s, but his dazzling century was not enough to save England from defeat as Jonny Bairstow’s controversial dismissal sparked fury in the second Test.

The England captain embarked on a six-hitting rampage after Alex Carey pulled off a deeply-divisive stumping of Bairstow, making 155 as he sought to fashion an unthinkable sequel to his 2019 miracle at Headingley.

But this time a finish line of 371 was too far away.

England finished 327 all out as they went down by 43 runs to trail 2-0 in the series with three to play.

But this gripping fifth day finish will live long in the memory, not just for Stokes’ classic, but the unprecedented anger on show at the home of cricket.

Lord’s is renowned as one of the most polite sporting venues in the world – half arena, half artefact – but Carey’s opportunistic decision to throw down Bairstow’s stumps while the Englishman treated the ball as dead drew a visceral response.

A 32,000 crowd, who had snapped up day five tickets at £25, erupted in boos, jeers and repeated choruses of “same old Aussies, always cheating”.

Things even turned nasty in the Long Room, where Marylebone Cricket Club members exchanged heated words with the Australians as they walked off at lunch.

An apology followed from the MCC, but Cricket Australia requested an investigation into the incident.

The booing continued when Mitchell Starc sealed his side’s victory by cleaning up Josh Tongue and the bitter atmosphere seems likely to follow the contest to Leeds next Thursday.

England’s annoyance at the Bairstow wicket was told through the actions of Broad, who made his feelings quite clear as he arrived to join Stokes in the middle.

He was overheard on the stump microphone telling Carey “you’ll always be remembered for that” and “literally the worst thing I’ve ever seen in cricket”.

The 37-year-old, a longstanding Ashes antagonist, repeatedly made an exaggerated performance of grounding his bat at the end of the overs and asked on several occasions for confirmation that the ball was dead.