It seems that there is nothing on the cricket pitch that Ben Stokes can’t in recent times. From his stellar performances in the World Cup in 2019 and his Ashes heroics later in the year, Stokes has been in incredible form across formats, and has seen a meteoric rise in ICC rankings, especially in Test cricket. Apart from posting the big scores and picking up key wickets when England needs them most, Stokes also shows amazing commitment and athleticism on the field, giving his all to save every possible run and take every possible catch.
It was this determination and commitment that was on show on the final day of England’s must-win second Test against West Indies.
After scoring a brilliant 176 in the first innings, Stokes blazed an unbeaten 78 off just 57 deliveries in England’s second innings as they declared early on Day 5 and set West Indies a target of 312 to win.
After a few early wickets, a solid partnership between Shamarh Brooks and Jermaine Blackwood threatened England’s shot at victory. Blackwood’s final day heroics in the first Test had given the visitors a huge victory in the series opener, and he threatened to once again take the match away from England.
In the first delivery of the 43rd over, Stokes bowled one short of good length to Blackwood and the batsman punched it back down the ground. With no fielder there, Stokes gave chase and dove to stop the ball from crossing the line.
Watch his amazing effort:
And there is Ben Stokes’ idea of commitment.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 21, 2020
Stokes’ heroics went slightly in vain, as the batsmen ran four between the wickets, but it was an exemplary effort and showed his never-say-die attitude.
Three deliveries later, Stokes claimed Blackwood’s wicket, and with Shane Dowrich falling to Chris Woakes in the next over, West Indies’ resistance came to an end, with England eventually cleaning them out for 198 and claiming a 113-run victory to level the series.
Ben Stokes was declared man-of-the-match for his brilliant performance in the match, and he rose to the top of ICC Test rankings for all-rounders, while moving to third among batsmen, behind just Australia’s Steve Smith and India captain Virat Kohli.
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