Stokes celebrates England captaincy call with 64-ball ton

By: AFP
Published: 09:40 PM, 6 May, 2022
Stokes celebrates England captaincy call with 64-ball ton
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Ben Stokes smashed 34 runs in an over to reach a 64-ball century for county side Durham on Friday - his first innings since being appointed as England Test captain.

The big-hitting all-rounder, who was announced as Joe Root's successor last week, is making his first appearance in this season's County Championship following a knee injury on the tour of the West Indies.

He walked to the crease with Durham on 360-4 on the second morning of their four-day match against Worcestershire and launched a boundary barrage.

The left-hander took just 47 balls to reach his half-century but then went into overdrive, with his second 50 taking just 17 deliveries.

Teenage slow left-armer Josh Baker took heavy punishment.

The first five deliveries of Baker's 20th over were muscled over the boundary rope by Stokes, who raised his bat after the fifth to celebrate reaching three figures, having clubbed 10 sixes in total.

Stokes was one blow away from emulating West Indies great Garfield Sobers, the only batsman in Championship history to hit six sixes in an over, having done so for Nottinghamshire in 1968.

But he was ultimately left thumping his pads with his bat in frustration after merely hitting a four, sparing Baker from joining ex-Glamorgan seamer Malcolm Nash in an undesirable club.

Baker was taken out of the attack but Stokes' freewheeling batting continued as he went to lunch on 147 not out from 82 ballsincluding 15 sixes to help Durham to a mammoth 549-4.

Stokes is due to start his England reign in the first Test against New Zealand from June 2 at Lord's.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.