New Zealand were subjected to absolute carnage after England’s Ben Stokes unleashed beast mode while batting during the 3rd ODI of the ongoing series between the two countries at The Oval in London on Wednesday, September 13.
Stokes rescued the hosts after they were reduced to 13 for the loss of two wickets initially and propelled them to what turned out to be a match-winning total at the end. New Zealand’s decision to field first seemed spot on as their star left-arm seamer Trent Boult made early inroads in England’s batting line-up after dismissing opener Jonny Bairstow for a duck and sending Joe Root (4 off 7 balls) back to the pavilion.
Boult was breathing fire down England’s neck and it took an impeccable rescue act from Stokes to take the Three Lions to a winning position after the initial collapse. Stokes put together a record 199-run stand with Dawid Malan and put the hosts in a position of ascendancy. Malan was unfortunate to miss out on a well-compiled hundred as he got out after scoring 96 off 95 balls.
But the star English allrounder carried on and scored 182 – the highest score by an England batter in ODIs going past teammate Jason Roy’s previous best of 180 and also apologised to the latter after scaling the milestone. None of the Kiwi bowlers barring Boult could end with bowling figures to write home about as they copped the brunt of some ruthless assault at the hands of England’s red-ball skipper.
Boult bagged a fifer, his sixth for New Zealand in ODI cricket and became the New Zealand player with the most five-wicket hauls in ODI cricket going past Sir Richard Hadlee who claimed five fifers during his playing career.
However, Boult’s fifer turned out to be the only thing to rejoice for the Blackcaps as they got bundled out for 187 and lost the contest by a staggering 181-run margin. The Jos Buttler-led side now leads the four-match series 2-1 with one game to play.
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