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We couldn't have done much more: Ben Stokes

Last updated on 23 Jul 2023 | 05:16 PM
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We couldn't have done much more: Ben Stokes

The England skipper also heaped heavy praise on Zak Crawley, who rapid the management’s faith in him with a stunning 189

England put themselves in a commanding position after the first three days of the fourth Test and looked set to pull off a series-levelling win, but it wasn’t meant to be. The forecast for the last two days wasn’t great and the Manchester rain ruined England’s hopes of regaining the Ashes on Sunday (July 23). Only 30 overs were possible on day four, while the last day was completely washed out.

England captain Ben Stokes said his team did everything in their control to win the Test and couldn’t have done anything more. After bowling Australia out for 317 in the first innings, the hosts hammered 592 runs in less than 110 overs, taking a lead of 275. In the second innings, the visitors were still trailing by 61 runs coming into the final day, but we didn’t get to witness a single delivery.

“It's a tough one to take, you know. The kind of cricket we played on the first three days and to be on the wrong side of the weather, it's a tough one. But it's part of the journey. I think coming into this game, it was a do-or-die game for us. Bowling them out for 320 and scoring 590, we couldn't have done much more,” said Stokes at the post-match presentation ceremony. 

Stokes heaped heavy praise on Zak Crawley who smoked 189 off 182 deliveries and rapid the management’s faith in him despite producing inconsistent performances. “I have been vocal about Crawley, what Zak does is he changes the game, the way he plays and the way he takes the bowlers on. That was an incredible innings, we knew an innings like that was not far away.”

Australia have retained the Ashes but there is still a game to be played and Stokes wants to finish the series on a high, with a 2-2 scoreline. “We'll have a lot of pride to play the next game. We know what the last game means to us as a team and we want to finish off on a high. Want the crowd to come out and support us."

Crawley, who hit his third Test century, rated this knock as his favourite. “I’d say this is my best innings, it’s my favorite one. I felt in good touch, I knew a score was coming if I stuck with the process. I haven’t been stuck at one end against quality bowling, they haven’t had a chance to set me up. I’ve tried to take a few more singles and get boundaries when I get going. I take a lot of confidence, every bowler I’ve faced from their side has been high quality.”

The fifth and final Test will be played at Kennington Oval from Thursday (July 27).

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