Ben Stokes smashed England’s new ODI record of 182, off just 124 deliveries, as the hosts cruised to a 181-run win over New Zealand in their third One-Day International at The Kia Oval.
Stokes reached the end with England struggling at 13-2 after the once again impressive Trent Boult (5-51) dismissed Jonny Bairstow’s first ball and Joe Root (4) added cheaply.
But, alongside Dawid Malan (96) – the duo scored 119 runs for the third wicket – Stokes saved the innings, racing to a 76-ball knock, surpassing his career best tally of 102 and hitting nine sixes alongside 15 boundaries. In his record hit.
Stokes eventually departed two balls after eclipsing Jason Roy’s previous high mark of 180, 18 runs shy of England’s first double ton in the format, as a batting collapse of 6-36 saw the home team bowled out for 368 to extinguish the deficit slightly. Mood between roles.
However, the feel-good factor returned quickly, as Chris Woakes (3-31) grabbed New Zealand’s top order in reply as part of a dazzling opening spell.
Finding more swing in the late afternoon than the Black Caps did after winning the toss, Woakes beat Will Young (9) and Henry Nicholls (4) – either side of Reece Topley (2-31) dismissed Devon Conway (9) – Before adding Tom Latham (3), he bowled comprehensively.
From 37 for 4, Glenn Phillips’ (72) half-century helped add some respectability to the score, but in reality his innings was little more than a bit of batting practice ahead of next month’s World Cup where New Zealand fell badly short of form. Run rate.
Liam Livingstone (3-16) was the somewhat unlikely figure who eventually brought proceedings to an end, trapping Phillips lbw to end his stubborn resistance and then running through the tail to seal the most comprehensive victory with 11 overs – seeing England take a 2-1 series lead With one to play.
Before the third match, Jos Buttler called on his team to be “more positive and aggressive”, and Stokes and his teammates have largely adopted their captain’s mantra – their resolve unwavering even in the face of Bairstow’s first ball or the sight of Root bowling inside Boult’s hole for two overs.
Malan was the aggressor early in his remarkable partnership with Stokes, reaching his fifth ODI half-century shortly before the first drinks interval, with Stokes joining him to fifty in the first half-century.
Stokes then took the lead, taking a particular liking to Rashin Ravindra (0-28), firing him for three sixes – the last two coming off successive deliveries – to see the left-arm spinner out of the attack after just two overs.
His hundred was the fastest in ODI cricket, off 76 balls, and only five shy of bettering another of Roy’s records and the fastest ODI century scored at The Oval (72 balls). Unfortunately, Malan was also unable to join his partner through the three figures, as he fell in the next over – the slimmest of edges behind Bolt that DRS had discovered after he was originally not on the field.
Buttler came next, joining Stokes for the best part of eight delightful overs that garnered 78 runs until the captain fell in rather unfortunate circumstances to a Phillips delivery that was very close to being called a ‘no ball off the back foot’.
Stokes continued his merry way, taking 150 with a six – one of five maximums scored in the space of six overs – as he raced to England’s ODI record.
But despite his best efforts, wickets, including wickets, began to falter at the back end of the England innings as they faltered somewhat to reach the end at 368 in 48.1 overs, Boult finishing things off to take his sixth ODI with five for. .
England and Sri Lanka meet in the final of the women’s ODI series in Leicester on Thursday (kick-off 12.30pm), while the men wrap up their series against New Zealand at Lord’s on Friday (kick-off 12.30pm). Coverage of both matches begins at 12 noon Sky Sports Cricket.
Heather Knight’s side currently lead Sri Lanka 1-0 after scalping seven wickets in the series opener before rain washed out the second ODI. Meanwhile, Jos Buttler’s side lead the Black Caps 2-1.
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