England star cricketer Ben Stokes smashed a brilliant fifty on his return to ODI cricket during the first match against New Zealand on Friday, September 8. Stokes, playing the first ODI match in the last 14 months, scored 52 runs off 69 balls while batting first and notably brought his fifty by smashing a six off Rachin Ravindra.
Joe Root also made his return to ODIs after a considerable break but was not able to make an impact. Harry Brook, who was part of the initial team for New Zealand ODIs, opened an innings but managed to score just 25 runs in his bid for the spot in the ICC World Cup 2023 squad.
However, all focus was on Stokes after Brook’s departure. The red-ball team captain was excellent throughout his innings but struggled for the big shots as he reached the 50-run mark. He was batting at 46* off 66 balls when he pulled off a stunning six off Rachin over deep backward square. But he threw his wicket away on the very next delivery he faced while attempting another six.
Meanwhile, Dawid Malan also pulled off an impressive fifty while opening an innings with Brook. Malan scored 54 runs off 53 balls before Rachin picked his wicket to give the Kiwis a breakthrough in the 15th over. England lost Brook and Root in quick succession but Stokes and captain Jos Buttler added 88 runs for the fourth wickets to put England on path for a big total.
New Zealand Playing XI: Devon Conway, Will Young, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (c & wk), Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Kyle Jamieson, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson
England Playing XI: Dawid Malan, Harry Brook, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (c & wk), Liam Livingstone, Chris Woakes, David Willey, Gus Atkinson, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley
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