NEWS

Ben Stokes stars as England win thriller in Kolkata

January 23, 2017

Ben Stokes returned to the scene of one of his biggest disappointments in cricket to produce a brilliant all-round performance in a thrilling five-run win for England over India in the third one-day international.

The Durham all-rounder struck an unbeaten 57 from just 39 balls to help England reach 321-8 in their 50 overs in Kolkata, before taking three wickets in a fine bowling performance that thwarted the hosts' run chase.

Stokes' performance came at the same Eden Gardens venue where he has hammered for four successive sixes in the final over of the World Twenty20 tournament last year. This time, however, he was the man who produced the goods at the business end of both innings. 

England had managed to surpass 300 on all three innings of the series, but after a brilliant century by Virat Kohli set up a successful chase of 351 in the first match and England fell 15 short of a mammoth target of 382, there was no certainty that the figure posted by England third time round would be enough.

However, Stokes produced the crucial breakthrough by dismissing Virat Kohli, and later returned to take two key wickets as India looked like chasing down the target. 

The hosts were kept in the hunt by a stupendous innings of 90 from Kedar Jadhav off 75 balls, and he was still there in the final over, bowled by Chris Woakes. As in the T20 final, 19 were needed to win, but after Jadhav hit a six and a four, two dot balls followed before he was caught in the deep. That left six needed from the last ball, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar swung and missed.

England's win was a boost in a year when fans booking corporate hospitality for the Champions Trophy matches at the Kia Oval in June will hope to see them finally win a global 50-over trophy. 

However, coach Trevor Bayliss said there need to be improvements in the bowling. 

He told BBC Sport: "The bowling was a little disappointing in these three games. The guys would be the first to admit that.

"But we have seen them bowl well in the past so there's no reason why they can't bowl well going forward."

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