Harry Brook played the key innings – a superb 75 – as England chased down 251 on day four to keep the Ashes alive before hailing a “special” Headingley crowd.

Burley-in-Wharfedale’s Brook was the lord of his own manor to help England secure a nerve-wracking three-wicket win during the fourth afternoon of the third Test, ensuring a home win at Headingley for the second Ashes running.

While this wasn’t quite Ben Stokes 2019 scale drama, it was thrilling nonetheless and just as important to cut Australia’s lead to 2-1 with two to play. 

Following a nine-day break, England head to Emirates Old Trafford a week on Wednesday bidding to level the series and set up a fabulous finale.

Yorkshire star Brook said: “I know a lot of people in the crowd, and to have done this in front of a home crowd was really nice.

“The crowd’s always special here, whether it’s for a T20 Blast game or an England Test Match.”

Brook went beyond 1,000 Test runs during this innings, only his 17th. 

Harry Brook

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Harry Brook signs autographs for his adoring fans. 

But no other batter in the history of the game has reached it quicker in terms of balls faced. Brook got there with his 1,058th delivery for England.

He fell to Mitchell Starc with 21 to win, leaving England at 230-7 before Chris Woakes hit the winning runs and finished 32 not out alongside player of the match Mark Wood (16 not out).

Wood claimed seven wickets in the match and added 40 runs down the order.

“It’s a lot more nerve-wracking when you’re sat up there and not in the middle,” Brook told Sky Sports at the end of the match. 

“I’m not one to blow up when I get in the changing room, but I had a little bit of a blow up today. I like getting us over the line. But I’m happy we won.

“Everybody erupted, and we were buzzing.”

Brook hit nine fours in 93 balls and was at his swashbuckling best: “The last couple of innings, I’ve got out stuck on the crease,” he said, sharing the stage this week with Yorkshire team-mates Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root.

“I feel like I’m at my best when I try to put pressure on the bowlers. I was trying to be a bit more aggressive.”

He added: “We’ve got a week and a bit off now. I’ll have a bit of downtime and chill with the family, and then we’ll hit the ground running next week.”

Brook’s captain Stokes added: “We absolutely love coming here (to Headingley) and playing cricket for England. The crowd gets right behind us, and the Western Terrace are always up with us. 

“It’s just amazing how this place always has memories that people remember. We just love playing here.”

Ben Stokes

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Australia and England captains Pat Cummins and Ben Stokes after the match.

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