England‘s star all-rounder and Rising Pune Supergiant’s (RPS) costliest buy, Ben Stokes, was in a punishing mode in yesterday’s game against Gujarat Lions in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. In match 39 of the ongoing edition, RPS were down and out chasing a modest chase 162 for victory. Their top order crumbled against Pradeep Sangwan’s pace when Stokes came out to the middle with the score reeling at 10 for 3. Nonetheless, what followed was clear hitting from Stokes, who had missed out on the previous two clashes due to injury. Stokes sealed the deal for his side in the penultimate ball with 5 wickets in hand. Stokes remained unbeaten hammering 103 not out off 63 balls. He became RPS’ second batsman (after Steven Smith) to register three figures and the fourth overall of the season (after Sanju Samson, Hashim Amla and David Warner) so far. Twitterati went berserk after witnessing a special knock from Stokes. Full Cricket Scorecard, Rising Pune Supergiant vs Gujarat Lions, IPL 2017, Match 39
— Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadeja) May 1, 2017
Take a bow @benstokes38 ..wow what a batting display that was…
— Faf Du Plessis (@faf1307) May 1, 2017
— Allan Donald (@AllanDonald33) May 2, 2017
Ben strokes ! A serious knock @benstokes38 too much talent this guy possesses! Beautiful to watch as a left hander
— yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) May 1, 2017
— Aditya Sahay (@adisahay7) May 1, 2017
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 1, 2017
Not only was Stokes clearing the fence at will, he also backed himself despite facing cramps. His innings constituted of 7 fours and 6 sixes. The most astonishing fact of his innings was that he held his end despite wickets tumbling at the other end. He stitched an important 76-run stand with MS Dhoni and later on turned the heat on in the death overs to earn two vital points for his side. With 5 victories from their last 6 games, RPS are sitting pretty at the fourth spot (with 12 points) and are in contention for a place in the playoffs.
Stokes deservingly won Man of the Match. This was his third award in eight matches; it would only be fair to say that he has justified his franchise’s faith in him.