FOR his first trick, Ben Stokes won England the World Cup.

He’s now followed it up with another super-human performance at Headingley to keep the Ashes series alive.

From the desperate first-innings capitulation on Thursday, England looked a beaten side. Enter Stokes.

He showed a balance and maturity to his game that he’s not necessarily lauded for, but one we should recognise and applaud.

Long noted for a bish, bash, bosh approach, his World Cup winning knock was stable and steady before accelerating and powering his country home.

It was the same at Headingley over the weekend. With Joe Root, the Durham all-rounder, dug in on Saturday to give England a platform, before taking charge as all crumbled around him. It was pure theatre yesterday as he and Jack Leach secured victory from the most unlikely of scenarios.

Botham’s Ashes and the Miracle of Headingley in 1981 has a new rival.

Stokes, remember, missed the last Ashes series in Australia as he was not selected amid an unsavoury incident on a night out in Bristol. Since that event, Stokes has matured and became a national treasure, and deserves credit for turning things around.

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2019 is a shoo-in.