Ben Stokes smashed the highest score by an
Englishman in ODI cricket history to take England to a monumental 181-run
victory in the third ODI against New Zealand at the Oval. The all-rounder’s
sensational 124-ball 182 lifted the hosts to a towering score of 368 before the
Blackcaps folded for 187 in response to give England a 2-1 lead in the series.
Having been asked to bat first, England
stuttered against the new ball as Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root departed early.
Devon Conway took a stunning catch to dismiss the opener off the first ball of
the innings, while Root managed another low score against the Kiwis, chopping
on against Boult an over later.
The two early breakthroughs brought Ben
Stokes to the crease inside three overs, and the all-rounder cashed in on his
opportunity to bat through the innings. After starting anxiously, Stokes
settled nicely after the powerplay and would go on to add 199 runs for the
third wicket with Dawid Malan.
Malan was cruelly denied a century after
strangling one down the leg side on 96, but Stokes put on a batting clinic at
the Oval to score his fourth ODI ton. The left-hander struck nine sixes in his
blistering knock, punishing the Kiwi spinners Glenn Phillips and Rachin
Ravindra in devastating fashion. Stokes also put on an entertaining 78-run
stand with Jos Buttler from just 46 balls and went on to finish with 182 from
124 deliveries to break Jason Roy’s record for the highest score for England in
England capitulated after the all-rounder departed
in the 45th over, losing their last five wickets for 20 runs. However, with 368
on the board, the hosts had more than enough runs to see out the victory.
The New Zealand chase started poorly, with
Will Young nicking off against Chris Woakes in the fourth over before his
partner Devon Conway fell lbw to Topley a few balls later. Woakes also removed
Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham in his extended opening spell, reducing the
Blackcaps to 37/4.
Sam Curran made it 70/5 by removing Daryl
Mitchell, but Glenn Phillips did offer some respite to the Blackcaps, scoring a
well-made half-century to reduce the margin of defeat. Liam Livingstone
eventually dismissed the all-rounder on 72 and also added the final two wickets
to bowl the Blackcaps out for 187 and complete a clinical win for the hosts.