Many hail England’s marquee all-rounder Ben Stokes as the best in the world. Stokes’ recent performances have only gone on to show why he earned his stripes.
The second Test match between England and West Indies at Old Trafford in Manchester turned out to be a one-man show, as Stokes’ three-dimensional prowess helped the hosts draw level in the three-match series.
In the first innings, Stokes ended up with one of his best performances in Test cricket with the bat, while scoring a majestic 176. Later, he came back to break the dangerous-looking partnership between Kraigg Brathwaite and Shamarh Brooks, which added 76 runs for the fifth wicket.
Coming out to bat again in the second innings, Stokes toppled another record by smashing the fastest half-century as an opener for England. The dynamic batsman played up a priceless knock of 78* off just 57 deliveries, thereby, helping his team post a target of 312 in front of the visitors in the fourth innings.
Moreover, it was Stokes’ lionhearted-effort on the field which was also instrumental in the 113-run win for the hosts.
In the 43rd over of the fourth innings, Stokes had the task of breaking a blossoming partnership between Jermaine Blackwood and Brook, which was inching towards hundred runs.
With an attacking field set, Stokes had no one protecting the ‘V’. In the first ball of the over, Blackwood punched a short delivery from Stokes towards long-off.
With no one behind him, Stokes’ raced backwards to fetch the ball which was crawling towards the boundary as Blackwood ran four.
And there is Ben Stokes' idea of commitment.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 21, 2020
Bowling from around the wicket, three-deliveries later, Stokes dismissed Blackwood with a hearty bouncer as the latter failed to cope with the rising delivery.
As a result, Blackwood could only manage to lob the ball to Buttler, who took a neat catch at short fine-leg.
MASSIVE WICKET! What a cricketer @benstokes38!
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 20, 2020
The over typically showed the strong mental character of the Durham cricketer, who has been unstoppable since the last season.