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Ben stokes Smoked Newzeland with a comeback 182 runs

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Ben stokes

credit: ECB ( Twitter)

Ben Stokes dismissed every criticism about his ability to play 50-over cricket after 14 months of ODI retirement at the KIA Oval. As he continued, he claimed the record for the highest score by an Englishman in the format with 182 off 124 to set up a resounding victory against New Zealand. He had already scored his fourth century in the format from 76 balls.

Despite sharing a third-wicket partnership worth 199 runs in 165 balls with Dawid Malan, Stokes left the field in the third over with Trent Boult swinging the new ball and England struggling at 13 for 2. When he faced Lockie Ferguson, he launched a vicious attack, scoring 56 runs off the 30 balls he faced; in total, Ferguson’s nine overs yielded 80 runs.

Stokes got things going quickly, sprinting down the pitch and skipping outside the leg stump to create space for an off-side play. When Ferguson entered the attack, he had 13 off of 19, and he immediately tried to take him on, hitting three boundaries in four balls in Ferguson’s second over, one with a heavy leading edge.

After that, Stokes played at a pace reminiscent of the one he used during the Ashes earlier this summer: nudged and scuffed singles interspersed with deliberate, disdainful swipes towards the stands. The best of the group was caught in the second tier of the Pavilion, a skip-down-and-swing off Glenn Phillips.

Stokes decided to stand and give the speech while he battled his knee issue. He hit nine sixes in all, including six in the last 31 balls. The sold-out audience stood to cheer the hero of England’s 2019 World Cup victory as he holed out to square leg while trying to hit a tenth, no doubt filled with hope that he might still lead them to a successful defence of their championship.

After a period off, Stokes noted, “it’s great to come back and contribute significantly to our victory. “I found today helpful for me to reaffirm my understanding of how 50-over cricket works on a personal level.” We lost a couple wickets quickly, so I wanted to go out and exert some pressure on them. You have a lot more time than you think. There were a number of times I had to pinch myself because I glanced up and there were still 23–24 overs left.

The notional pursuit of 369 by New Zealand rapidly devolved into glorified middle practice. Phillips, who scored a career-high 72, was the only batsman to reach 30 as New Zealand crumbled for 187. Chris Woakes bowled eight overs on the reel from the Pavilion to conclude the game. He finished his first stint with 3 for 31.

While Stokes was the centre of attention, this could have been the day England’s World Cup team came together. After experiencing his second back spasm in six days, Jason Roy was ruled out for a third straight ODI, so Malan, who had been on paternity leave, returned and got his chance. His 96 off 95 balls was his second half-century of the series and his ninth score of at least 50 in a game.

As their bottom order crumbled, England couldn’t turn it into the 400-plus total that appeared certain, leaving 11 balls wasted. Boult, the star of the New Zealand attack, got a sixth ODI five-for by moving Gus Atkinson’s stumps after Buttler temporarily shone for 38 off 24 but Stokes’ departure in the 45th over set off a fall of 5 for 20.

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With the ball, New Zealand was able to mitigate some of the damage. They depended on two all-rounders, Phillips and Rachin Ravindra, to bowl spin because Mitchell Santner injured his knee at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday and Ish Sodhi was resting; Jamieson and Lister won’t play for them in the World Cup, barring injury.

However, Stokes made sure that England profited from their ineffective assault by hitting 59 runs from the 35 spinners he faced, including three enormous sixes that rendered Ravindra useless after his second over. When he ultimately succumbed to Lister, it was unexpected, but not before he had surpassed Roy’s mark for the greatest ODI innings by an Englishman.

Adil Rashid and Mark Wood, England’s two primary bowlers in their defence, were both kept in cotton wool, or at least in bright green bibs in the substitutes’ dugout. However, it made little difference because Woakes had Will Young caught behind and Henry Nicholls miscuing to square leg, and his inswinger rattled Tom Latham’s stumps.

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Before Sam Curran had Daryl Mitchell caught behind and Moeen Ali bowled Ravindra with an arm delivery, Devon Conway looked off during his 9 off 18 before being lbw to Reece Topley, leaving New Zealand 37 for 4. The Oval was just halfway full when Phillips was out on review for the first of Liam Livingstone’s three wickets after hitting a couple of fruitless sixes as the asking rate climbed.