Leeds, July 9 (IANS) Young batter Harry Brook hit a crucial 75, followed by Chris Woakes (32 not out) and Mark Wood (16 not out) staying till the end to secure a gripping three-wicket victory for England over Australia on day four of the third Ashes Test at Headingley on Sunday.

England kept a rampaging Mitchell Starc (5-78) at bay to emerge victorious at Headingley in a successful chase of 251 to keep the series alive and make the series scoreline 2-1. Brook and Woakes added 59 runs for the seventh wicket, before the latter finished off the chase with a drive past point for four, with Wood giving him company from the other end.

Resuming from 27/0, Ben Duckett was trapped lbw by Starc in the 10th over of the chase. England sprung a surprise by sending Moeen Ali at No.3, but the ploy didn’t work as he was cleaned up by Starc for just five runs.

Joe Root joined Zak Crawley to stage a rebuild act for England. The partnership got off to a quick start, but just as Australia were being pushed out of the game, Mitchell Marsh found the outside edge of Crawley’s bat and the edge was caught by Alex Carey behind.

Brook walked in at five and played very cautiously, contrary to his usual attacking style, but soon changed gears as he grew in confidence. From 1 off 8 balls and 8 off 16 balls, the middle-order batter smashed three boundaries in two overs to up the ante.

Against the run of play, Australia found another breakthrough with Cummins sending back Root for 21, the batter nicking a short ball down the leg-side to Carey. Despite the wicket close to lunch, Brook continued to go hard at the bowling and raced into the forties as lunch break came.

Post lunch, Starc had Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow dismissed in quick succession, landing big blows on England as they were reduced to 171/6 and still 80 runs away from the target. But Brook continued to go for his shots. He and Woakes built a quick partnership that frustrated the visitors.

During the 59-run partnership, Brook, the local lad, completed 1000 Test runs, becoming the fastest to the milestone in terms of balls faced, and reached his fifty with Woakes too starting to find his feet at the other end.

But Starc returned to dismiss Brook, who top-edged to cover, with the hosts needing just over 20 runs to win. With nervousness written large on the faces of spectators, Wood hit a crucial six off Pat Cummins next over.

He then smashed a Starc half-volley for four next over to arrest any fears of an Australian comeback, aided by Carey dropping Wood’s catch when four runs were needed. Woakes then ended the game with a boundary as Headingley erupted with relief and joy. The next Ashes Test will begin on July 19 at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Brief scores: Australia 263 & 224 lost to England 237 & 254/7 in 50 overs (Harry Brook 75, Zak Crawley 44, Chris Woakes 32 not out; Mitchell Starc 5-78) by 3 wickets.