England skipper Ben Stokes
England skipper Ben Stokes. Image Credit: AFP

London: England skipper Ben Stokes made history on Saturday as he became the batter with the highest number of sixes during a single Ashes series against arch-rivals Australia.

Stokes accomplished this during England's fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval.

In the second innings, he scored 42 off 67 balls. His knock consisted of three fours and a six. His runs came at a strike rate of 62.68. In the previous innings, he could score just three runs.

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With this, he has smashed 15 sixes in the series, the highest so far. Previously, the record was held by Kevin Pietersen, who had lit up the 2005 Ashes series with his batting, which consisted of 14 sixes. Stokes had also hit 13 sixes in the 2019 edition of the series.

Stokes also has the second-highest number of sixes in a Test series. Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has the highest number of sixes in a Test series, smashing 19 maximums during the series against South Africa in the 2019-20 season.

In the ongoing Ashes, Stokes has scored 405 runs in five matches across nine innings at an average of 45.00. He has scored one century and two fifties in the series, with the best score of 155. He is the third-highest run-scorer in the series next to Usman Khawaja (424 runs) and Zak Crawley (480 runs).

Coming to the match, England's second innings is going on and they have a lead of over 300 runs.

In their first innings, Australia was bundled out for 295 runs and they had a 12-run lead. They lost wickets at regular intervals. At the top of the order, Steve Smith (71 in 123 balls, with six fours) and Usman Khawaja (47 in 157 balls with seven fours) delivered key contributions which kept Australia's innings together.

Down the order, skipper Pat Cummins (36) and an aggressive Todd Murphy (34 in 39 balls with two fours and three sixes) helped the Aussies gain the lead, putting on a 49-run stand. Smith and Cummins had also put on a 54-run stand for the eighth wicket.

Chris Woakes (3/61) emerged as the pick of the bowlers for England, while Root, Wood and Broad took two wickets each. James Anderson got one wicket.

In their first innings, England was bundled out for 283 runs after being put to bat first by Australia. Harry Brook (85 in 91 balls with 11 fours and two sixes) top-scored for England and had a 111-run stand with Moeen Ali (34 in 37 balls with three fours and two sixes) after England slipped to 73/3. Later a 49-run stand for the eighth wicket between Mark Wood (28) and Chris Woakes (36) helped England reach a decent first-innings score.

Mitchell Starc (4/82) was the pick of the bowlers for Australia. Josh Hazlewood and Todd Murphy took two wickets each while skipper Pat Cummins and Mitchell Marsh got a wicket each.

Australia is leading the five-match series 2-1. Though Australia has regained the Ashes urn, England can still go out of this home series respectfully after a 2-2 draw.