IPL

Stunning Stokes century helps Royals overcome Indians

By Sports Desk October 25, 2020

Ben Stokes plundered a glorious century to help Rajasthan Royals chase down Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League on Sunday. 

The England all-rounder was in imperious form in Abu Dhabi, hitting an unbeaten 107 off 60 balls to keep the Royals – who had started the day bottom of the table – in the play-off picture. 

Mumbai, who remain top, had the chance to seal a play-off spot of their own with a win and they put themselves in a commanding position with a total of 195-5. 

Hardik Pandya was the star of their innings, striking an unbeaten 60 off 21 balls. His knock, which included seven sixes and two fours, was the fourth-fastest of this season's IPL. 

Mumbai opener Ishan Kishan went for 37 in spectacular circumstances, with Stokes' England team-mate Jofra Archer taking an acrobatic one-handed catch by the boundary.

The Indians might have thought they had done enough to secure an eighth win in 11 games this season but Stokes and Sanju Samson had other ideas, the pair putting on a third-wicket stand of 152 from 82 balls to take the Royals home with 10 balls to spare 

Rajasthan move up to sixth in the table with 10 points from their 12 games, while the result condemns Chennai Super Kings, who had thumped Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier in the day, to elimination. 

STOKES FINALLY ARRIVES IN THIS SEASON'S IPL  

Stokes had struggled to make an impact in the IPL before his match-winning turn on Sunday, scoring just 110 runs off 103 balls in this season's competition. The 29-year-old said he felt in confident mood ahead of Sunday's game thanks to a positive training session a day earlier. 

"I'm a bit taken aback by why it's taken me so long to get into the tournament for the team," he said. "To be honest, the training I've had yesterday was the best I had throughout my time here, so I came into this with a bit of confidence. It was coming on nicely."

ARCHER PLAYS HIS PART

Archer set the stage for Stokes' heroics with a fine display in the field. His catch from Kishan was a thing of beauty, while he also removed Quinton de Kock and Saurabh Tiwary on six and 34 respectively. 

Related items

  • Brilliant Bairstow hits highest T20I score as England beat South Africa Brilliant Bairstow hits highest T20I score as England beat South Africa

    Jonny Bairstow hit his highest Twenty20 International score as England defeated South Africa by five wickets in the first game of their three-match series.

    Faf du Plessis got 58 as South Africa posted a competitive total of 179-6 after England won the toss and elected to bowl at Newlands on Friday.

    A successful run chase was looking unlikely for the tourists by the time they fell to 34-3 in the sixth over, but Bairstow scored 86 not out from just 48 balls in a superb innings.

    After dropping down to number four in the order, Bairstow hit nine fours and four sixes, sealing victory with four deliveries to spare with a huge maximum.

    Ben Stokes (37) provided good support as England took a big step towards winning a third consecutive T20I series against South Africa, who are playing their first international cricket since March.

    The second match is in Paarl on Sunday before the series concludes back in Cape Town next Tuesday.

    CAPTAIN AND FORMER SKIPPER SET UP PROTEAS

    England made a good start with the Proteas only mustering 12 runs from the first three overs.

    But a six from captain Quinton de Kock off Jofra Archer (1-28) sparked 38 runs in just two overs to kick-start the South Africa innings and he went on to build a partnership of 77 with former skipper Du Plessis.

    Chris Jordan (1-40) ultimately removed De Kock for 30 and then claimed a catch at deep square leg to end the 40-ball innings of Du Plessis.

    But by that point South Africa were 110-3 and a platform had been set for Rassie van der Dussen (37) to keep up the pace.

    BAIRSTOW BOOSTS ENGLAND

    Stokes made an astonishing Test-best 258 in Cape Town in January 2016 and Bairstow also shone in that game, scoring a maiden Test ton.

    The duo impressed again by putting on a crucial 85 partnership, but Bairstow still had plenty to do when Stokes holed out to long on off the bowling of Tabraiz Shamsi (1-27).

    After Eoin Morgan (12) made a slow start, England suddenly needed 55 from 25 but Bairstow hit six of his side's eight boundaries from there in an impressive finish.

    LINDE AND SAM CURRAN IMPRESS

    It was a good T20I debut for South Africa's George Linde, who hit a quickfire 12 from six balls with the bat before taking 2-20, including the early wicket of Jason Roy (0), plus a key catch to remove Stokes.

    While Tom Curran (1-55) struggled, Sam was the pick of the England bowlers, with figures of 3-28 from his four overs and the crucial wicket of Du Plessis.

    He later hit a six with the bat in the penultimate over to help settle the tourists' nerves after Morgan's dismissal.

  • 'WI will keep fighting' - Windies captain Pollard backs team to bounce back after disappointing start toT20s 'WI will keep fighting' - Windies captain Pollard backs team to bounce back after disappointing start toT20s

    West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has backed the team to rebound following a disappointing five-wicket loss to open its three-match T20I series against New Zealand on Friday.

    For his part, Pollard crafted a masterful unbeaten 75 as the team posted 180 for 7, but in the rain-affected fixture the hosts chased down the total with a 179 for five response from 15.2 overs to win via the Duckworth/Lewis method.

    Despite setting a reasonable total there will be plenty for the West Indies to ponder in the loss.  They got off to a fast start after racing to 58 without loss in 19 balls courtesy of Andre Fletcher’s 14-ball 34, following his dismissal the team lost five wickets in 11 balls.

    In chasing down the target, Jimmy Neesham and Devon Conway led a New Zealand recovery, pulling the team back from 63 for 4 mid-way the seventh over to get a comfortable victory in the end.  They were aided by plenty of wayward bowling.  Keemo Paul and Kesrick Williams being were particularly culpable. Paul bowled five no-balls while giving up 39 runs from his three overs while Williams’ half volleys saw him being taken for 33 runs from two overs.

    “We will continue to fight, hopefully, we will get over the line and set up an exciting third match for the final game,” Pollard told members of the media following the match.

    “We definitely have to look at our plans and come back, in terms of the bowling aspect of it and try not to lose wickets in clusters, these are conversations that we continue to have but as cricket goes sometimes these things play a part.”

  • Pollard blames erratic, undisciplined bowling for Windies loss Pollard blames erratic, undisciplined bowling for Windies loss

    West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard blames his side’s erratic bowling for their five-wicket loss to New Zealand in Auckland on Friday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.