Run-out mix-up haunts me: Leach

London, Aug 31 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 8/31/2019 11:17:57 AM IST

Jack Leach says his near run-out mix-up with Ben Stokes during England’s thrilling third Ashes Test win at Headingley will haunt him forever.

Last-man Leach joined Stokes at the crease with 73 runs still needed for victory, but a stunning hundred from Stokes took England to within two runs of a series-saving victory.
Looking for a single from the fifth ball of Nathan Lyon’s over in the hope of ensuring Stokes would have the strike to finish things off in the next, Leach found himself stranded halfway down the pitch, only for Lyon to fumble the throw in and blow Australia’s opportunity to retain the Ashes with two Tests to spare.
“Oh god, that will haunt me forever, even though we won,” Leach told Sky Sports Cricket. 
“I thought, with one ball after that one, we would be really looking to squeeze in a single on that ball, but Stokes was looking to finish the game that over. I would say it was miscommunication, although Stokesy afterwards was like: ‘what were you doing?!’”
Despite that almost costly mix-up, Leach said that he felt calm at the crease and like a fan watching the game as Stokes blasted the Australia attack to all parts in knocking off the runs.
“It was good fun, for some of it, nerve-wracking at other parts, and then just relief at the end to get over the line,” said Leach.
“Stokesy played one hell of a knock, and I felt like a bit of a fan out there when he was hitting those sixes and then obviously I had to switch back on when I was facing up. It was amazing to be part of. The game really gripped the nation, like the World Cup final, and hopefully it does a lot for cricket.”
Leach said, “It did feel quite calm out there. Stokes just said ‘try and stay with me’, he was going to face four or five balls an over and I was going to face one or two. It was quite simple in terms of what he wanted to do. I was probably pretending [to be calm] for some of it, going down to Stokesy and saying ‘just focus on the next ball’, when he’d just hit a six and I was buzzing!”
“Most of his sixes I thought were out when he first hit them, but then they would just fly over the fielders. The crowd, wow, they were amazing. To be part of that atmosphere was incredible,” he added.


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