Brilliant Ben Stokes blasts way to England ODI record score of 182
Less than a month after reversing his ODI retirement, Ben Stokes set a new England record with a blistering 182 against New Zealand.
Stokes, playing just his third 50-over match since agreeing to return for next month’s World Cup defence, was in brutal form as he unloaded nine sixes and 15 fours during a devastating 124-ball innings.
He broke the record in typically emphatic fashion, clobbering Ben Lister high over long-on for a maximum, with previous holder Jason Roy emerging on the balcony to show his appreciation alongside a sold out Kia Oval crowd.
Roy, absent from the XI having suffered back spasms, has sat on top of the pile for more than five years with a cracking 180 in Melbourne but now slides into second place following Stokes’ explosive knock.
His efforts carried England to a formidable total of 368, but England tailed off at the end of the innings and were surprisingly bowled out with 11 balls unused.
Stokes, who at one stage looked intent on becoming the first Englishman to make a double century, came to the crease in just the third over with the score at 13 for two and did not depart until the 45th. By then the total had had moved to 348, more than half of which came off his bat.
He was excellent against extremes of pace, facing down Lockie Ferguson at 94mph and punishing him repeatedly before blasting spinner Rachin Ravindra out of the attack with three sixes in two overs.
This was not only the biggest of his four ODI tons but the fastest too, one quicker than his 77-ball hundred against South Africa six years ago.
If there was one down side it was the familiar sight of Stokes occasionally wincing in pain as his chronic knee problems reappeared.
Stokes has taken a calculated gamble that he can manage the condition, but it was apparent that a six-week post-Ashes break has not resolved the matter.
While Stokes’ innings rightly dominated proceedings, Dawid Malan’s 96 was notable in its own right.
Malan is one of the players whose spot has come under scrutiny should England opt to parachute Harry Brook into the World Cup squad, but he was at his controlled best as he joined Stokes in a 199-run stand for the third wicket.
Malan, rejoining the side after the birth of his son, deserved a ton of his own but was unfortunate to get a thin edge on a Trent Boult delivery that had originally been called wide by the umpire.
Boult finished with five for 51, escaping most of the worst punishment doled out by Stokes and striking at both ends of the innings.
He had Jonny Bairstow caught at square leg off the very first ball of the match and then saw Joe Root drag on to continue a lean series for the number three as the Kiwis started strongly.
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