Considered one of the most clutch players in the modern era, star allrounder Ben Stokes performed yet another rescue of the highest order to take England from 192 for the loss of six wickets to 339 in their 50 overs against the Netherlands on Wednesday, November 8.
England’s batting woes came to the fore yet again as Joe Root (28 runs off 35 balls), Jonny Bairstow (15 off 17 balls), Harry Brook (11 off 16 balls), Jos Buttler (5 off 11 balls) and Moeen Ali (4 off 15) failed to do what was expected out of them.
Having been reduced to 192 for six with more than 14 overs remaining, England were under the serious threat of getting bowled out for a below par total yet again but a monumental effort from their red-ball skipper took them out of peril and put them in a consolidating position.
Stokes, who is known for his ultra-aggressive batting approach, changed his playing style and dug in. He nudged the ball into the gaps to keep rotating the strike and stitched a 129-run stand (third-highest partnership for the seventh wicket or below in ODI World Cup history) with fellow allrounder Chris Woakes to lay the foundation of England’s imposing total.
Stokes was fairly defensive and maintained the same tempo till the 42nd over to avoid any further damage to the Three Lions. The 32-year-old thumped Bas de Leede over mid-wicket and straight into the crowd to shift his gear and what followed was absolute carnage as the Dutch bowlers looked clueless.
Stokes’ dramatic push left the Dutch ducking for cover. The southpaw took 58 balls to reach his fifty and then pressed the accelerator to add his next fifty runs off just 26 balls. Despite nearing his maiden World Cup hundred, Stokes remained selfless and kept looking for highly rewarding shots instead of dealing in singles and twos to reach the milestone. The innings also saw him create history as he became only the second player in the history of international cricket to score 10000 runs and claim 200 wickets after Jacques Kallis.
Here’s how netizens reacted to Stokes’ performances against the Netherlands:
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