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ENG vs NZ 1st ODI: Ben Stokes marks ODI return in style, smashes 52 against New Zealand

ENG vs NZ 1st ODI: Ben Stokes marks ODI return in style, smashes 52 against New Zealand

Ben Stokes, the star of England who won the 2019 World Cup, had a triumphant return to the ODI lineup on Friday, September 8 by smashing 52 runs against New Zealand. Stokes played in his maiden 50-over match after coming out of retirement during the match that took place at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens. Stokes unexpectedly ended his ODI career in July 2022 against South Africa, but the management of the national team pushed for his comeback.

At No. 4, Stokes did not feel the heat as the hosts got off to a strong start thanks to openers Harry Brook (25) and Dawid Malan (54). However, Stokes was forced into action in the 16th over as wickets started to fall quickly. When a short ball caught him off guard, the 32-year-old almost got out for a golden duck, but the shot flew over the point fielder. He would later, nevertheless, bolster his innings with the help of Joe Root (6) and Jos Buttler (72).

Stokes took a wise strategy, picking his spot on boring deliveries, and eventually scored his fifty. Three fours and a six were the only outs in his inning. He put on an 88-run partnership for the fourth wicket with captain Buttler while scoring at a strike rate of 75. The latter was also in excellent form and assisted England in reaching 291/6 in their 50 overs.

Twin Centuries from Devon Conway, Daryl Mitchell make Ben Stokes ODI return against New Zealand sorrowful

In the opening one-day international in Cardiff on Friday, New Zealand defeated hosts England by eight wickets thanks to outstanding hundreds from Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell, stepping up their preparations for the World Cup in India later this month.

After being put in to bat at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens, England scored 291-6 thanks to half-centuries from Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Liam Livingstone.

The chase for New Zealand got off to a fast start thanks to runs from Will Young and Henry Nicholls, followed by a magnificent 180-run partnership between Conway (111 from 121 balls) and Mitchell (118 from 91).

Rachin Ravindra was the pick of New Zealand’s bowlers, picking up three wickets for 48, his best figures so far in his fledgling ODI career.

The second match of the four-game series will be played at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Sunday.

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