Ben Stokes made a remarkable comeback to the 50-over format at the Kia Oval, dispelling doubts after a 14-month ODI hiatus. His record-setting innings of 182 off 124 balls powered England to a commanding victory over New Zealand. Coming in at a precarious 13 for 2, his explosive batting alongside Dawid Malan's vital contribution laid the foundation for England's dominance.
England vs New Zealand 3rd ODI Highlights
Cricket • 14 Sept, 2023 • 905 Views
By: Anand Swami
Stokes' Majestic Return
Making an entrance with England on the ropes at 13 for 2 in the third over, Ben Stokes showcased his calibre by crafting a 199-run partnership with Dawid Malan. This stellar knock of 182 off 124 balls is now the highest ODI score by an English batsman. The New Zealand bowlers, especially Lockie Ferguson, bore the brunt of his onslaught. Ferguson's nine overs alone leaked 80 runs, with Stokes plundering 56 off just 30 balls he faced from him.
Lockie Ferguson's entry into the attack saw a frenetic Stokes, initially restrained at 13 off 19. As Ferguson's deliveries came in, Stokes took charge, dispatching three boundaries in just four balls. One even resulted from a thick leading edge. Stokes' momentum continued, reminiscent of his tempo from the recent Ashes, mixing calculated hits with tactical singles. A particular standout shot off Glenn Phillips found its resting place in the Pavilion's second tier.
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New Zealand's Battle
Chasing the massive English total, New Zealand's response was subdued. Chris Woakes shone, delivering eight straight overs and taking three crucial wickets for just 31 runs. Glen Phillips attempted a counter-attack, registering a career-best 72, but his efforts remained solitary as New Zealand folded at 187, far from the target.
Malan's Crucial Innings
With Jason Roy sidelined, Dawid Malan, fresh from paternity leave, exhibited his worth. Scoring 96 off 95 balls, he reinforced his claim for a spot in England's World Cup squad. His resurgence is all the more crucial given his past inconsistencies, making this his second half-century of the series. Malan's recent performances suggest he's gearing up to be a key player come October 5th, when England squares off against New Zealand in the World Cup opener.
England's Late Inning Dynamics
As dominant as the top order was, England's later batsmen couldn't capitalize fully. An impending 400-plus total was curtailed, with 11 balls left unplayed. Jos Buttler's cameo of 38 off 24 was the only highlight before a collapse ensued post-Stokes' dismissal. Trent Boult, emerging as the star for the Kiwis, picked up his sixth ODI five-for, further diminishing England's lower order.
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New Zealand's Bowling Dilemma
The Kiwi bowlers faced challenges throughout the match. With Mitchell Santner nursing a knee injury and Ish Sodhi on rest, New Zealand had to rely on all-rounders like Glenn Phillips and Rachin Ravindra to bowl spin. Neither Jamieson nor Lister is expected to play in the World Cup unless due to injuries. Their weakened bowling attack struggled, particularly against Stokes, who took 59 runs off the 35 balls of spin he faced.
The cricket match was filled with outstanding performances, but Ben Stokes stood out as a key player in England's success. Dawid Malan also demonstrated his resilience, indicating that England is well-prepared for the upcoming World Cup. Although Phillips put in a commendable effort for New Zealand, they were overshadowed and revealed areas that require urgent attention. Ultimately, England's victory not only displayed their depth but also set the stage for an exciting World Cup campaign.
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