Rajasthan Royals’ all-rounder Ben Stokes finally came to the party as he hammered his second IPL hundred to take his side home in a steep chase of 196 against Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi. Ben Stokes’ batting position and even his spot in the playing eleven came under scrutiny due to his underwhelming performance in IPL 2020 so far. The 28-year old highlighted that he has been training the best since he arrived in the UAE for IPL.
Rajasthan Royals did not seem in complete control of the game despite Quinton De Kock’s departure in the first over. Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan steered things comfortably until Shreyas Gopal and Kartik Tyagi hit back with three wickets. However, Hardik Pandya was in no mood to waste the loose deliveries from Ankit Rajpoot and Tyagi. He plundered seven sixes in his 21-ball 60.
Ben Stokes and Robin Uthappa were under pressure in pursuit of 195, especially against a top-notch Mumbai Indians’ bowling attack. Despite losing Uthappa and Steve Smith in the space of few overs, Stokes continued his tempo along with Sanju Samson. Ben Stokes reached his hundred with third six and finished with 107 not out from 60 balls. On the other hand, Sanju Samson remained at 54 not out to add an unbroken 152.
“The harder shot to play was when they dug into the wicket” : Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes claimed that the century was bittersweet and revealed to be stunned as to why it took so long to play such a knock. Having trained exceptionally well for this game, the southpaw came to the game with plenty of confidence and scored freely of Japsrit Bumrah than they thought. Stokes remembered his father, who is currently battling cancer; however, hopes that the unbeaten century gives his family happiness back home.
“It’s sort of bittersweet to be honest. Bit taken aback by why it’s taken me so long to get into the tournament for the team. To be honest the training I’ve had yesterday was the best I had throughout my time here, so I came into this with a bit of confidence. It was coming on nicely. The harder shot to play was when they dug into the wicket. And we scored off Bumrah porbably a lot freer than we thought we’d be able to. [Tribute to his father when he raised the bat] Things are a bit difficult right now, but hope this has given a bit of happiness back home,” Ben Stokes told in the post-match presentation.