The world champions England on March 26 defeated India in the second ODI at the MCA stadium in Pune by 6 wickets. With this win, England leveled the 3 matches one-day series by 1-1. Opener Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes destroyed the Indian bowling lineup, leading to England's victory.
Chasing a massive target of 337 runs, England openers Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy started just like the first ODI. Both Roy and Bairstow stitched a hundred-run partnership yet again. Roy slammed 55 runs before his departure due to a run-out. Then, English all-rounder Ben Stokes arrived and he supported Bairstow to play his natural game by holding one end. However, Stokes is known for his power-hitting. As soon as he reached his half-century, Stokes unleashed his wrath on the Indian bowlers. In fact, he struck Kuldeep Yadav back-to-back three sixes. An interesting statistic shows, Stokes reached his half-century in 40 balls, however, he smashed 49 runs in the next 11 balls.
Ben Stokes played an explosive inning of 99 runs off 52 balls with the help of 4 boundaries and 10 sixes. However, Stokes fell one run short from his century. He was dismissed by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar on a short-pitch ball. After missing out on his hundred, Stokes became emotional as he looked up to the sky and remembered his late father while taking the long walk back to the pavilion.
The all-rounder was also seen showing the folded middle finger gesture as a tribute to his father, Ged, who passed away last year after fighting a short battle with brain cancer. Ben's father had got a part of his finger cut off in order to continue his rugby league career in the 1980s.
After winning the match, Stokes interacted with the commentators and talked about his inning. He said, "The most pleasing thing for us as a team is that we didn't go away from our values as a team. We were bitterly disappointed in that first game with the way we played in the chase, but it was pretty clear that we were going out with the same intent as we always do. Really happy that we managed to get over the line quite easily specially when India set a challenging total. It was actually a better wicket than the first game. Over the years, we have set big totals, we have chased big totals. We don't really fear too much to be honest."
The outstanding inning and the emotional gesture won the heart of people on social media. Netizens on Twitter are expressing their love and admiration for Ben Stokes. They even called Stokes 'best player of the England cricket team'.
This is what the netizens have to say:
That's why Sir Ben Stokes is the best cricketer of England. On his day, he can single handedly finish the opponent. Distraughtly says sorry to his dad , for missing out on his 100. Beastly batting on display. #INDvENG pic.twitter.com/CKtsHAlze6— Arpan (@ThatCricketHead) March 26, 2021
Ben stokes asked Joe Root few days back about the mindset required to bat at No. 3 . Joe Root said “Bat the way Ben stokes would Bat “ ... Best piece of advice ! #INDvsENG— Vikram Sathaye (@vikramsathaye) March 26, 2021
(Image Credits: AP)
Stay updated on the latest IPL 2021 news on Republic World. From live updates and scores to team news, commentary, schedule, controversies, match reactions, reports, analysis, statistics, polls, previews and more, find it all in the IPL 2021 section on Republic World.