What happened? What happened was this.
England were playing Pakistan in Bristol. Moeen Ali was facing Shaheen Afridi and Ben Stokes was at the non-striker’s end.
What a way to go! 😵
Even Stokes affords himself a chuckle after he is run via Shaheen's ankle after a straight drive from Ali! 😆
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) May 14, 2019
Shaheen bowled a full straight one and Moeen drilled it back at him. Shaheen – clearly inspired by Jimmy Anderson’s ill-advised “my kneecap felt like it was on the other side of my leg” accidental fielding effort from earlier in the week – deftly left a stationary ankle in the ball’s path and deflected it onto the stumps.
Stokes – a man in innocuous-to-poor batting form ahead of the World Cup and not normally known for being possessed of a snakingly long fuse – reacted to this unfortunate run out not precisely how you’d imagine he would.
His first reaction was, perfectly understandably, to roll his eyes so hard as to actually knock his head backwards. He then broke into the sulky bat-dragging walk that is routinely deployed by a just-dismissed Joe Root.
After that he… smiled.
Yes, it turns out Ben Stokes has got a rueful smile in his locker these days. Who knew? Previously the only thing in there was his fist.
It was a subdued response and some will worry about that. Stokes is an aggressive cricketer, they say. He needs that edge, they add.
Maybe they’re right. Maybe the aggression that sustains a fiery temper is directly linked to a player’s ability to bat aggressively. Maybe that’s a true and incontrovertible fact.
Quite what a furious Jos Buttler would be capable of is anybody’s guess.
Jofra Archer and Matthew Wade left their Ashes rivalry on the pitch as they were spotted chatting and laughing in the post-series drinks.
Justin Langer has expressed doubt about David Warner’s ability to rediscover top form after he was terrorised by Stuart Broad in The Ashes
As cricket fans we’ve been bombarded by averages, over rates and bowling speeds this summer. Here are some of the lesser talked of numbers..
Joe Root knows England have “something special” in Jofra Archer but says England must manage their expectations of their star man
The Ridiculous Ashes final result is in, featuring a Mitchell Marsh five-fer and Jonny Bairstow’s shithousery
Australia captain Tim Paine was happy to share a beer with England’s players after a fiercely-contested Ashes series ended level at 2-2.
Outgoing England coach Trevor Bayliss admits taking charge of Australia would tempt him back into international cricket
We suspect both England and Australia got what they really came for this summer.
Calls for a super over to decide the Ashes have sadly been ignored.
A truly remarkable summer for English cricket concluded at the Oval.