It has been a tough World Cup for England, admitted Ben Stokes and thus he was more happy with victory than achieving his personal milestone against the Netherlands at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune on Wednesday after the defending champions registered a 160-run win.
Stokes scored his maiden World Cup century as he played a fine knock of 108 runs off just 84 balls with the help of six fours and as many sixes. The veteran added a crucial alliance of 129 runs with Chris Woakes, who scored an important knock of 51 runs.
The southpaw took his time in the initial stage but he was able to change gears towards the end to play a match-winning knock. Stokes played a crucial role in helping England post an above-par score of 339 runs on the board.
On the other hand, the Netherlands were bowled out for only 179 runs as the batters were not up to the mark. Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali bagged three wickets apiece whereas David Willey scalped two wickets for the defending champions.
Ben Stokes, who was awarded the Player of the Match, said: “More pleased with the victory (than scoring a century), it has been a tough World Cup for us. It was a nice wicket to bat on, had some tennis-ball bounce. We (Woakes and himself) built a good partnership, whenever there was pressure building I had a look at the scoreboard and reminded myself there was a lot of time remaining (in the innings).”
He added, “Tried to take it deep and cash in later. He (Woakes) is a genuine all-rounder for us, he has been a great cricketer for England over the last 2-3 years and today he proved it.”
This win must have added some confidence to English players as they haven’t been at their best. Stokes once again showed why he is England’s go-to player in every situation.
England will play their last match of the tournament against Pakistan at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Saturday.