IPL 2020: Centurion Ben Stokes has justified his value
Stokes justified his value with one of the best run chases seen in IPL-13. Innovative, picking his spots, keeping up with the run-rate and a bit of luck, Stokes scripted a clinical chase with a hundred and support from the classy Sanju Samson
When a franchise retains or buys a player for top dollars, there are expectations; expectations to win games and justify the money paid. Rajasthan Royals' Ben Stokes is a top-dollar cricketer who commands the price he gets. He proved that in the way he buccaneered an unbeaten hundred against a strong Mumbai Indians side on Sunday.
Batting first, MI lost in-form Quinton de Kock to a wicket-hungry Jofra Archer. With Archer and the white ball, one expects early wickets and he rarely disappoints. A rebuilding process seemed imminent with the in-form player, Ishan Kishan gone. Suryakumar Yadav and Saurabh Tiwari provided that until the devastating Hardik Pandya took centrestage.
Holding his position from where he is prepared to pick his spots on both sides of the wicket, Hardik seems to have answers posed by the bowlers at the death. His unbeaten 60 off 21 balls propelled MI to an above par 195. With a strong bowling attack, chasing MI's target was possible only if one or two of the RR boys were to bat through the major part of 120 balls. Stokes justified his value with one of the best run chases seen in IPL-13. Innovative, picking his spots, keeping up with the run-rate and a bit of luck, Stokes scripted a clinical chase with a hundred and support from the classy Sanju Samson.
Stokes and Samson, with strike rates of 178 and 174 respectively, remained unbeaten and the two ensured a comfortable win for the Royals. For MI, it is a learning that despite playing their top game, there will be days when the fickleness of T20 cricket and the brutal form of Stokes and his ilk will supersede their excellent performances.
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