Stokes’ Heroics Propel England to Victory, Keeping Champions Trophy Hopes Alive

by: Atika Mehboob TN Sport Pakistan:
Ben Stokes delivered a remarkable performance, scoring his maiden World Cup century, which rescued England from a precarious position and led them to a crucial victory over the Netherlands, ensuring their chances of qualifying for the Champions Trophy remained intact.

Stokes and Chris Woakes combined forces to create a partnership of 129 runs for the seventh wicket, dramatically turning England’s situation from 192 for 6 to a total of 339 for 9 in Pune. This remarkable comeback followed a period where England had lost five wickets for just 59 runs in 15 overs. The win, with 12.4 overs to spare, marked only England’s second victory in this edition of the Champions Trophy, with one game remaining.

Stokes, who had a slow start to the tournament after arriving in India with an injury, played a pivotal role in this win with his outstanding performance. His 108 runs against the Netherlands came too late for England to reach the semi-finals, but it did boost their chances of qualifying for the 2025 Champions Trophy. England moved up from the bottom of the table, thanks to this 160-run win, with their net run rate improving from -1.504 to -0.885, placing them in seventh position ahead of Bangladesh among the top eight sides who progress.

The match began well for England as they won the toss and reached 39 without losing a wicket in the first four overs. However, their momentum slowed down, and Jonny Bairstow was dismissed for just 15 runs, top-edging an Aryun Dutt delivery. England reached 70 for 1 after the first ten overs, with Dawid Malan impressing, scoring his half-century off just 36 balls. Malan played aggressively but was run out just short of his century while attempting a risky run.

England faced a series of wickets falling as Joe Root, Harry Brook, Jos Buttler, and Moeen Ali all departed quickly. Stokes, along with Dutt, forged a remarkable partnership, with Stokes reaching his fifty with a six and ultimately scoring his century. Stokes’ incredible performance led England to score 124 runs from the last 10 overs.

In response, the Netherlands struggled, losing early wickets, and their chances of winning faded quickly. England’s fielding had its moments of imperfection, but they maintained control of the match. Despite some resistance from the Netherlands, they ended up losing their last five wickets for just 16 runs in 21 balls, sealing England’s victory.

While the Netherlands can still mathematically qualify for the Champions Trophy, they face a challenging task in their final match against unbeaten hosts India, with their net run rate working against them.

Overall, Stokes’ special innings played a pivotal role in England’s win, offering a glimmer of hope for their Champions Trophy campaign.


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