England’s cricket sensation, Ben Stokes, has once again graced the ODI format with his exceptional talent, leaving fans in awe of his incredible skills. His return to the One Day International arena has been nothing short of spectacular, marked by a remarkable innings that secured his place in cricket history.
Setting the Stage for the Comeback
Stokes’ return to ODI cricket took place during the thrilling series against New Zealand on home soil. His decision to come out of retirement and rejoin the English squad for the upcoming World Cup in India had raised expectations, and he did not disappoint.
In a defining moment, Ben Stokes etched his name in the record books by achieving the highest individual score ever by an English batter in ODI history. He amassed a breathtaking 182 runs, surpassing the previous record held by Jason Roy, who had scored 180 runs against Australia in Melbourne back in 2018.
A Crucial Partnership with Dawid Malan
Stokes’ exceptional performance was not a solitary effort. He formed a crucial partnership with opener Dawid Malan, rescuing England from a precarious position after the early dismissals of Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root. Together, Malan and Stokes orchestrated a remarkable recovery, amassing nearly 200 runs between them.
Regrettably, Dawid Malan fell just four runs short of a well-deserved century, but Ben Stokes continued to shine, ultimately reaching a stellar 150 runs.
Jos Buttler, the England skipper, played a significant role in maintaining the team’s momentum. His explosive 38 off 24 deliveries provided valuable support, but he fell victim to Glenn Philips’ brilliance.
A Tribute to a Beloved Father
Beyond the remarkable statistics, Ben Stokes’ century held a deeper significance. He dedicated his century to his late father, who had passed away in December 2020. Stokes’ heartfelt celebration was a touching tribute to the man who had undoubtedly influenced his cricketing journey.
A Familiar Gesture
This was not the first time Ben Stokes had paid tribute to his father through cricket. In October 2020, while playing for the Rajasthan Royals against the Mumbai Indians, he had similarly honored his father’s memory by scoring a century.
During his innings, Stokes experienced a stroke of luck in the 41st over when an LBW appeal by Glenn Philips was referred to the umpire’s decision review. Fortunately for Stokes, the call favored him, allowing him to continue his remarkable innings.
A Heroic 182
Despite facing a tough challenge, Stokes persisted and managed to accumulate an impressive total of 182 runs. His memorable innings finally concluded when he was dismissed by Ben Lister, but by then, he had already made history.
Consistency and Determination
While his initial return to ODI cricket saw a half-century and a disappointing second game, it was the third ODI that showcased why Ben Stokes is considered one of the finest all-rounders in the sport. His consistency, determination, and ability to rise to the occasion make him a formidable presence on the cricket field.
World Cup Aspirations
As the 2023 ODI World Cup approaches, Ben Stokes has undoubtedly made a resounding statement. His incredible performance has put him at the forefront of England’s World Cup campaign, and he will undoubtedly be on the minds of any opposition they face as they aim to defend their title on Indian soil.
In conclusion, Ben Stokes’ return to ODI cricket has been a revelation, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to the sport and his country. His record-breaking innings, partnerships, and heartfelt tributes have endeared him to fans worldwide, and he is poised to play a pivotal role in England’s quest for ODI World Cup glory in 2023.