Ben Stokes scored maiden T20 century: Pune’s all-rounder played a career-best innings to single-handedly seal a chase for his team.
On this day in 2017, playing for Rising Pune Supergiants in the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League against Gujarat Lions in Pune, all-rounder Ben Stokes registered his maiden T20 century to single-handedly seal a 162-run chase.
Coming in to bat at No. 5 in the second over, Stokes had a tough task lying ahead of him. Opening batsman Rahul Tripathi (6) also getting out inside the powerplay and wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni scoring 33-ball 26 further speak highly about Stokes’ knock.
Facing his fifth ball in the third over, Stokes played an elegant on-drive off GL pacer Pardeep Sangwan amidst a horror start from the hosts. Stokes, who hit another boundary off Basil Thampi in the fourth over, hooked a Sangwan delivery for a six in the next over to raise some hopes for the Pune fans.
Batting at 27* (21) at the end of the powerplay, Stokes rotated the striker alongside Dhoni for a few over before taking on Lions all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the 10th over.
An archetype way of a left-hand batsman targeting a left-arm spinner, Stokes sat down on one knee to hit two consecutive sixes off Jadeja. With Supergiants needing 95 runs to win in the last 10 overs, Stokes still had to do a lot of heavy lifting.
It was on the first delivery of the 12th over that Stokes ran a single off Gujarat all-rounder Dwayne Smith to complete his half-century.
Ben Stokes scored maiden T20 century
The last five overs needed Pune to score 60 runs to win the match. Having hit a six and a four off Smith, Stokes and Dhoni scored 16 runs in the over to reduce the equation to 44 runs in four overs.
Facing Thampi in the 17th over, Stokes once again hit him for a four but could only collect eight runs from the over in addition to losing Dhoni. The southpaw hit two magnificent sixes off Thampi in the penultimate over to have the upper hand on the chase for the first time.
On the first delivery of the last over, Stokes hit a boundary off Lions all-rounder James Faulkner to go past the three-figure mark and bring down the equation to needing four runs off five balls.
Stokes, who eventually scored a match-winning 103* (63) with the help of six fours and seven sixes, saw all-rounder Daniel Christian (17*) scoring the winning runs on the second last ball of the match.
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