BEN STOKES staged a heroic one man stand to lead England to a historic Ashes comeback at Headingley.
The Durham all rounder smashed an outstanding 135 off 219 balls to tie the series 1-1 in a victory that will go down as one of the greatest of all time.
England won by a wicket finishing at 362/9 after their embarrassing first innings total of 67.
The last time a team won a match after a first innings score of less than 70 was 131 years ago.
Joe Root racked up a respectable 77 to give England hope while Joe Denly chipped in with a 50.
But the stage was set for World Cup hero Stokes who stepped up to the plate and wrote his name forever in the Ashes history books.
Speaking after the victory, a clearly emotional Stokes said: "I never give up really.
"It is never over until it's over."
Stokes described Jack Leach as the "super night watchman" but admitted the nerves and pressure started to get to him as the target crept closer.
He said: "I couldn't watch at the end.
"I was just so in the zone for what I had to do.
"We have managed to keep our hopes alive and hopefully take that momentum into Manchester.
"That was top two moments I have ever had on a cricket field."
Test captain Root described it as an "outrageous batting" performance and said: "To try and sum it up in words is pretty much impossible.
"The courage and belief in his own ability is fantastic."
Leach got a solitary run from the 17 balls he faced and he was overcome by the special talent of his last stand batting partner.
He said: "It was a very special feeling.
"It was like nothing I have ever seen before.
"The chance to be part of that at the end was incredible."
After Leach's heroic 92 against Ireland earlier in the summer, he became famous for slogging it out with his glasses on and he did the same today.
And despite the light-hearted stick he gets, the spinner does not care.
He said: "I had to make sure my glasses were clean.
"I know I look stupid when I am out there but it got the job job done."
The atmosphere was electric in Yorkshire and the noise was ear splitting when Stokes swept away the winning shot for four.
And Leach was quick to praise the crowd for the part they played in the historic win.
He said: "The cheers when Stokesy's sixes went over were amazing.
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