‘Phenomenal’ Stokes delivers on Buttler’s mantra with record score

Daily News
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It was a familiar tale of Ben Stokes batting heroics as he led an England onslaught in the third ODI against New Zealand at The Kia Oval, hitting a record-breaking 182 off 124 balls, containing 15 fours and nine sixes.

Stokes steadied the ship after England fell to 13-2, with Jonny Bairstow dismissed for a golden duck, flicking Trent Boult straight to square-leg, before the New Zealand fast bowler removed Joe Root for four.

But in came Stokes, the England Test captain proceeding to notch his fastest ODI century off just 76 balls and ultimately top the table of highest individual ODI scores in England men’s cricket, a position previously held by team-mate Jason Roy when he made 180 against Australia in 2018.

Stokes told reporters after the game: “Its good to come back in after a while out and put in a big contribution.

“I think today was good for me personally just for me to get familiarity again with how 50-over cricket goes.

“We start off and lose a few quick wickets, but we then put them under pressure. I had to check myself a few times when I looked up and there were still 20 overs left. You have way more time than you think.”

Stokes added: “I didn’t know about Jason’s record. He said ‘well done’ and I said ‘sorry’ back. Both of us aren’t too fussed with stuff like that.”

England captain Jos Buttler had urged his side to be more aggressive and play positively after his side fought to level the series at Southampton.

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Nasser Hussain and Kumar Sangakkara discuss Ben Stokes’ record-breaking 182 ODI score against New Zealand.

It was a message clearly embodied in Stokes and Dawid Malan’s partnership for the third wicket as the England pair made 199 off 165 deliveries, further consolidating their places for the World Cup squad in India next month.

“Stokes is a phenomenal cricketer, he really is,” said Sky Sports commentator Nasser Hussain.

“People asked whether or not he should come back but it was a complete no-brainer for me.

“Just because he may not be able to bowl, he’s still one of the best batters we’ve produced in any format.”

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Ben Stokes hits his fourth and fastest ODI century ever, achieve the ton in just 76 balls in England’s third ODI with New Zealand.

Hussain added: “This is what happens when you have a team full of senior leaders, they have a lot of cricketers that have been around previously and who, leading up to a World Cup, wouldn’t want to take a backward step.

“Stokes has not always batted at four and one advantage of coming in at 13-2 is that he had so much more time and judged it perfectly. He’s always shown strength, particularly on the leg-side.

“He was smashing it like he always does and I think New Zealand and other teams will have to learn from him.”

Stokes’ dismissal finally came when New Zealand fast bowler Ben Lister bowled a full toss and he was caught at deep square-leg by Will Young.

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The England players have a selection meeting in the Oval pavilion to determine who would make their rugby XV.

But his efforts were plentiful as The Oval crowd rose to their feet and Stokes raised his bat to the sky, walking off adorned in their adulation despite a late collapse that would see England lose their last six wickets for just 32 runs.

“Stokes took the lead so others will have the courage to follow and trust his example,” said Sky Sports commentator Kumar Sangakkara.

“One of his key roles is to inspire and spread the word. He’s done a fabulous job and England looked a bit off the pace at the start but then had someone from their top four to really set the tone.

“England reaffirmed their stance and belief of how they want to play.”

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Ben Stokes recorded an astonishing 182 runs from 124 balls to break Jason Roy’s record for England’s highest individual ODI score.

If Stokes was the hero for England, then it was New Zealand’s Boult who delivered with the ball for the tourists.

The left-arm quick took a sixth ODI five-for, also dismissing Malan (96) to deny him a fifth ODI century, and later contributed to England’s collapse by removing Sam Curran (3) and Gus Atkinson (2).

“Boult varied his pace and bowled well,” said Hussain.

“He’s an exceptional cricketer and himself and Stokes have been out of ODI cricket for a while but they’ve come back with a bang.”

Watch cricket, including the World Cup, live on Sky Sports or stream with NOW.

England’s fourth ODI against New Zealand is live on Sky Sports Cricket from 12pm on Thursday (12.30pm first ball).

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