A lot has to be said for the remarkable 135* not out which Ben Stokes produced to keep the possibility of an Ashes Series win alive for England.
With a record chase of 359 runs required to summit Australia's score, the odds were really not in England's favour. Furthermore, with no sign of rain over the bank holiday weekend, the chances of a washout were even less likely.
There were glimmers of hope throughout England's second innings. However, up against one of the world's finest bowling attacks, combined with the harsh reality that only twice before had a team bounced back to win after registering a sub 70 first innings score, the outlook did not bode well for England's hopes!
As the innings progressed, one man stood in the way of the fierce Australia attack. After scoring his slowest ever Test Cricket 50, the harsh reality hit home that Stokes would need a partner to remain at the crease with him if he was to have any chance of dismantling the Aussie's total. A crumbling tail-end left England requiring 70 runs from the final partnership with Mr. Jack Leach now joining Stokes on the field.
Quite honestly, my nerves could hardly hold the pressure watching on TV, so I have no idea how Stokes and Leach managed to keep their cool. Buoyed by the phenomenal support in Leeds, the pair (almost exclusively Stokes) were chipping away at the total required. Each time called upon to see out an over, Leach did so without fail.
For a lot of fee-earning businesses, the role Leach played in England's famous Headingley win is similar to those who support the Rainmakers in their organisation. Recognising what the team required of him, Leach unselfishly followed Stokes' direction and resolutely held his wicket in tact.
Often when performing a supporting role, a lot of hard work can go without external recognition. It is difficult to compare the significance of Leach's 1 run to Stokes' 135, as they required one another in order to succeed.
When planning for success (whether in sport or business) it is important that all facets of the organisations are working toward the common objective. Understanding that each function will perform different roles, is the same as Leach accepting his place in the ultimate chapter of the third test. Whilst facing only 17 balls in over an hour, Leach's role was integral in providing Stokes the platform to complete the chase.
The accolade of Man of the Match understandably went to Stokes after his formidable display with bat-in-hand. However, it is important to also recognise the enablers who make that success possible in the first place. Take a bow Mr. Leach!
While Stokes was setting off fireworks at one end, Leach was quietly going about his business at the other - repeatedly cleaning his glasses. The tailender was at the crease for an hour, contributing one run to the partnership of 76, though he did face 17 crucial balls.