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From ‘village cricketer’ to cult hero: Jack Leach relives his 17-ball epic | Vic Marks

He scored just one run but in his match-winning stand with Ben Stokes, England’s No 11 became the owner of cricket’s most famous pair of spectacles since the days of David Steele

Well, his running between the wickets borders on the diabolical. It is not straightforward to find a fresh slant upon Ben Stokes’s innings of the century – and possibly any century. However, he is not the first great player for whom there is considerable scope for improvement in this department. Denis Compton was in this category, so too Geoffrey Boycott and in this generation Kane Williamson – peerless batsmen yet sometimes harum-scarum runners.

At Headingley Jos Buttler had to go and but for a Nathan Lyon fumble, which – as the Aussies are keen to note whenever possible – might leave a few scars, Jack Leach should have done as well in the penultimate over of the Test, which must now be known as Headingley 19. Leach had scurried down the pitch, given that it was the fifth ball of the over, and Stokes was slow to deter him. Leach was not that keen to dwell on that for long afterwards.

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