Saturday, 27 November 2021

IPL: Ben Stokes destroys Gujarat Lions with an incredible century


HYDERABAD: Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) skipper Steven Smith hoped that Ben Stokes’ stunning unbeaten century in their win over Gujarat Lions (GL) would settle the BENdebate whether the English all-rounder was worthy of a high price tag. The spotlight and scrutiny doubled up ever since Rising Pune Supergiant shelled out Rs 14.5 crore in the auction to hire Stokes. At 42 for four, the stage was perfectly set for Stokes to show his worth. Stokes played one of his smartest innings in T20s, an unbeaten 103, and forged a 76-run partnership for the fifth wicket with MS Dhoni to put RPS back in the hunt. A cramping Stokes took the team through with some lusty blows towards the end. “You obviously tell him his role and how he’s going to fit into the team. He knows that now. We’re 10 games into the tournament, so he’s pretty clear with that. Obviously, we missed him in the last few games but guys stepped up and did a good job. We paid a big amount to get him. We know he’s a quality player. Certainly earned his cash tonight,” said a satisfied Smith after their five-wicket win at the MCA Stadium here on Monday. While Stokes’ bowling was falling in place, his batting form remained a concern with a string of low scores since his half-century knock against Kings XI Punjab in their second game.

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