In a scintillating display of cricketing prowess, England’s Ben Stokes returned to the One Day International (ODI) arena with a bang, notching a breathtaking century against New Zealand in the 3rd ODI at The Oval in London. Stokes’ exceptional innings left fans in awe as he reached his fourth ODI century in a mere 76 balls, showcasing his remarkable talent with the bat.
The century by Stokes marked the end of a six-year drought, with his last ODI ton dating back to a memorable Champions Trophy match against Australia in June 2017. However, this time, he surpassed his previous milestones by a significant margin, scoring a colossal 182 runs off 124 balls, laced with 15 boundaries and an impressive nine towering sixes.
Stokes surpassed Jason Roy
One of the most noteworthy aspects of Stokes’ innings was his ability to surpass the previous record for the highest individual score by an English batter in an ODI innings. Jason Roy had held the record with a score of 180 off 151 balls against Australia in Melbourne in January 2018. Stokes’ magnificent performance catapulted him past Roy’s milestone and established a new benchmark in English ODI cricket.
Following his record-breaking innings, Stokes was awarded the Player of the Match title. During the post-match presentation, when asked about his reaction to breaking Roy’s record, the English all-rounder responded in a light-hearted manner. In a video shared by Sky Sports cricket, Stokes said, “I apologized to him upstairs.”
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He further expressed his delight at contributing to the team’s victory, emphasizing the importance of such contributions. The 32-year-old said: “It felt good. Obviously, coming back into the team after a while. I’ve always said it’s nice to contribute towards winning games as well.”
Stokes reckoned the conditions changed in the 2nd innings
While Stokes’ batting brilliance paved the way for England’s imposing total of 368 runs in 48.1 overs, New Zealand struggled to match the challenge. They were bowled out for 187 runs in 39 overs. Reflecting on the conditions during the match, Stokes noted, “It was a good wicket. I think the conditions actually changed once the lights came on. I thought the ball was offering a lot.”
He also highlighted the team’s strategy to apply pressure on New Zealand, particularly during the opening overs, which proved effective in securing a commanding victory.
“It was pretty obvious by the way that Woakesy and Topley bowled at the top. We spoke about putting New Zealand under a bit more pressure that we did in the first two games especially at the top,” added Stokes.
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