Ben Stokes ton fires England after Jonny Bairstow controversy at febrile Lord’s
Ben Stokes smashed his way to an angry century at Lord’s after Jonny Bairstow was controversially dismissed amid febrile scenes on the final day of the second Ashes Test.
Stokes went on a six-hitting rampage as he set out for apparent retribution in the aftermath of Alex Carey’s highly divisive stumping of Bairstow, hammering his way to a jaw-dropping hundred.
By the time the lunch interval intervened, England needed another 128 runs on 243 for six, with Stokes looking imperious on 108 not out.
The home of cricket, renowned as one of the most polite sporting arenas in the world, erupted in a chorus of boos and chants of “same old Aussies, always cheating” after Bairstow was given out in bizarre circumstances at a pivotal point in the game.
England were 193 for five chasing 371 when Bairstow ducked under a bouncer from Cameron Green, tapped the crease and began to walk down to prod the pitch.
Australia wicketkeeper Carey sent an under-arm throw in after catching the ball, leaping for joy as he hit the stumps. There was confusion in the middle, Bairstow seemingly believing the ball was dead at the end of the over but Australia were happy to proceed with a deeply divisive appeal.
The umpires sent the decision upstairs for review by TV umpire Marais Erasmus, who had no option but to confirm Bairstow’s dismissal.
The Yorkshireman reluctantly stomped off to the pavilion as a crowd of almost 32,000 – taking advantage of reduced £25 tickets – poured out their anger on the touring team.
A bitter row about the ‘spirit of cricket’ will surely follow, while Bairstow’s lack of attention to detail is also liable to receive plenty of attention.
Stuart Broad threw himself into the row, seemingly picked up on stump microphone telling Carey he would be remembered forever for his actions, and later making an ostentatious show of grounding his bat behind the line at the end of an over.
But Stokes was the man at the centre of the storm. He was on 62 not out at the time, playing with notable maturity, but suddenly began a frenzied display of furious hitting with 46 runs off his next 21 deliveries.
He pulled Green for three muscular boundaries in his next over, then sent a rocket straight back at Pat Cummins, who could not hang on – attracting a few more words from Broad as the Australia captain lay on the ground.
Stokes then blazed 24 off the hapless Green’s next visit, with three consecutive sixes heaved into the on-side.
The session ended in unbearable tension, with television cameras apparently picking up Australian players exchanging words with members in the Long Room.