York Knights 14 Leigh Leopards 34: Plucky underdogs give Super League high-flyers huge scare on proud night
England were famously 500-1 to beat Australia before Botham got going in 1981, while Stokes was given no chance of getting his side home with only number 11 Jack Leach for company and 73 runs still needed.
In rugby league where part-time players come up against professional athletes to create physical mismatches, pulling off the impossible is a herculean task.
But Andrew Henderson's side ripped up the script to give Leigh an almighty scare.
Kai O'Donnell's fifth-minute red card for a reckless spear tackle acted as a leveller but York's first-half performance would have challenged a full-strength Leigh.
In a tie that pitted 12th in the Championship against third in Super League, the Knights were dreaming of one of the biggest upsets in recent memory after taking a 14-6 lead into half-time.
But Leigh’s class and superior fitness told in the final quarter as former England internationals Josh Charnley and Tom Briscoe scored doubles to help book Leigh a semi-final against St Helens thanks to a ninth straight win.
In the absence of a dozen players, the Knights could hardly have given any more on a proud day for the North Yorkshire club.
York had not won in three games since beating London Broncos in the previous round of the cup and did not need reminding that they lost last year's three Championship meetings with Leigh 210-18 on aggregate.
The 42-point start given to York by the bookmakers did not feel generous enough but the Leopards knew they were in a game from the moment Ukuma Ta'ai floored Joe Mellor with a huge fend.
There were signs that Leigh were rattled even before O'Donnell became the third player to be sent off on quarter-final weekend for a wild challenge on Josh Daley.
With blood in the water, York went after Leigh and thought they had opened the scoring through Will Jubb only for the video referee to spot a knock-on.
The nervy Leopards saw Charnley fumble the ball into touch when he had a clear run to the line and were lucky not to be reduced to 11 men after John Asiata caught Daley with a high shot, allowing Myles Harrison to nudge York 2-0 ahead.
Zak Hardaker was not so fortunate after recklessly slinging AJ Towse to the ground, with the yellow card leaving Leigh two men short for 10 minutes in a repeat of their Magic Weekend clash with Wakefield Trinity earlier this month.
The Leopards held out comfortably at St James' Park but York were not going to die wondering.
They were rewarded for their enterprise when Joe Brown collected Ata Hingano's reverse kick to spark wild celebrations at the LNER Community Stadium.
There was a sense that Leigh would take control after Mellor pounced on an error by Hingano to score with the visitors still down to 11 men – but the Knights were not going away.
Hingano atoned for his mistake to lay on York's second try with the help of Towse, the winger brilliantly patting the ball back for Harrison to finish.
Harrison failed to improve his own try but knocked over a long-range penalty on the stroke of half-time to leave the Knights in dreamland.
If Adrian Lam spent the break talking about composure, his message did not land with his Leigh players.
Umyla Hanley and Gareth O'Brien were forced into touch in quick succession before Charnley lost the ball going for the corner.
The issue for York was they could not get out of their own end and the pressure eventually told when Tom Amone forced his way over from close range.
The Leopards were playing like they had the extra man and nudged ahead for the first time thanks to Charnley's finish in the corner on the back of a drop-out.
York knew the game was up when Briscoe scored out wide and Hardaker added the extras to take Leigh two scores clear.
Charnley added a second and Briscoe completed his brace following Jack Teanby's late yellow card for a high tackle.
York Knights: Brown, Towse, Harrison, Jones, Ward, Hingano, Daley, Ta'ai, Jubb, Fitzsimmons, Field, Clarkson, Cunningham. Substitutes: Kirby, Michael, Teanby, Sumner.
Leigh Leopards: O'Brien, Briscoe, Hanley, Hardaker, Charnley, Mellor, Lam, Amone, Davis, Mulhern, Nisbet, O'Donnell, Asiata. Substitutes: Chamberlain, Smith, Wilde, Seumanufagai.
Referee: Jack Smith.