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Ben Stokes lifted England out of a sticky situation with a 79-ball 101. Stokes came into bat when Joe Root was run out by Dwaine Pretorius. England were 80/3 at that point off 16 overs. He then went on to build a 95-run partnership with skipper Eoin Morgan followed by a 77-run knock with Jos Buttler.
Stokes was dismissed off the very first ball that he faced by Hashim Amla. The ball raced away to the boundary. As it turned out, it would be a dropped catch that South Africa would rue as he practically saved the England innings. Stokes then went on to smash 11 boundaries and 3 sixes on his way to the century.
Stokes was a concern for England prior to the beginning of the second ODI. He had sustained a knee injury while bowling in the first match. He hence came into the middle with a strapping to his knee. But the all-rounder didn’t seem to mind it at all as he went about his business in his own aggressive style.
Stokes, Chris Woakes and Eoin Morgan had come into the England team after playing in the league stages for their respective teams in the Indian Premier League. Stokes, in particular, was an important cog for Rising Pune Supergiant and his presence was clearly missing for Steve Smith’s side who went on to lose the final to Mumbai Indians.
Stokes was dismissed by Keshav maharaj soon after reaching his century but Jos Buttler then continued to plunder the South African bowling attack with Moeen Ali. Buttler ended the innings unbeaten on 65, helping England post a target of 331 for South Africa to chase.