Essex survived a nervous finale brought about by an extraordinary first-innings batting collapse to win the Specsavers County Championship with a Taunton draw against title rivals Somerset.
Jack Leach provided crucial last man support as Somerset rallied during a rain-affected second day against Essex at Taunton to keep the race for the Specsavers County Championship alive.
England spinner Jack Leach has been made available for Somerset’s potential Specsavers County Championship decider against Essex next week.
England’s leading man Ben Stokes spoke for an entire nation of cricket fans as he summed up an unforgettable summer in five words: “It has been a blast.”
England must wait for their chance to reclaim the Ashes urn but Stuart Broad and Jack Leach ensured a first drawn series since 1972 by condemning Australia to a 135-run loss at The Oval.
Head coach Justin Langer rejected suggestions that Australia’s Ashes celebrations at Old Trafford targeted England’s Jack Leach for mockery, insisting the on-pitch party was a “two out 10” performance.
Justin Langer has defended Australia’s celebrations after their decisive fourth-Test victory over England which saw them retain the Ashes.
England will head to the Oval this week hoping to restore some pride after Australia retained the Ashes on Sunday.
England’s hopes of reclaiming the Ashes finally ended despite a battling rearguard in the fourth Test at Old Trafford.
Jonny Bairstow has called on England’s batsmen to take heart from their record chase at Headingley as they look to nullify Steve Smith’s latest masterclass and keep their Ashes campaign alive.
Ben Stokes accepts his match-winning innings for England against Australia in the third Test at Headingley will count for little unless they win back the Ashes.