World Cup heroics and jaw-dropping belligerence – Ben Stokes’ best ODI moments

England Test captain Ben Stokes has taken the shock decision to retire from one-day internationals and will bow out with a final match at his home ground of Chester-le-Street on Tuesday.

Stokes has enjoyed several outstanding moments in the 50-over format and the undoubted peak came with a star turn in the 2019 World Cup final, leading England to an improbable win over New Zealand at Lord’s.

Here, the The Cricket Paper looks at Stokes’ five best performances in an ODI shirt.

5. England v New Zealand – July 14, 2019

England won the 2019 World Cup thanks to Ben Stokes’ heroics (Nick Potts)

Tied scores, super over, boundary countback. None of it would have happened without a tour de force innings for the ages from Stokes as he rescued England from more World Cup final heartache. As wickets tumbled around him, Stokes hustled and battled his way to 84 not out to keep his side afloat before defying fatigue to return for the one-over shootout as England won by “the barest of all margins”.

4. England v South Africa – May 30, 2019

Ben Stokes' acrobatic grab was a highlight reel moment of the 2019 World Cup (Nigel French/PA)
Ben Stokes’ acrobatic grab was a highlight reel moment of the 2019 World Cup (Nigel French)

“No way! No, no way! You cannot do that, Ben Stokes.” Nasser Hussain captured the mood of every onlooker after Stokes’ remarkable leap and one-handed grab to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo in England’s World Cup opening 104-run win. He top-scored with 89 and took two for 12 as his golden summer started with a bang but that catch at the Kia Oval was one of the highlight reel moments of the tournament.

3. Australia v England – January 24, 2014

Stokes was one of England's few positives in the 2013/14 Ashes (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Stokes was one of England’s few positives in the 2013-14 Ashes (Anthony Devlin)

Stokes’ defiance was one of the few positives from the 2013-14 Ashes. Weeks after a breakout century in Perth – England’s only ton during the Test series – he returned to the WACA to put Australia to the sword again. He followed up his 70 with the key wickets of Australia captain George Bailey, big-hitting Glenn Maxwell and dangerous lower-order pair James Faulkner and Mitchell Johnson in a 57-run win.

2. England v Australia – June 10, 2017

Stokes made just three ODI centuries, the last of them against Australia in 2017 (Mike Egerton/PA)
Stokes made just three ODI centuries, the last of them against Australia in 2017 (Mike Egerton)

England had already guaranteed progression to the Champions Trophy semi-finals but were in danger of losing their final group match, slipping to 35 for three chasing 280 when Stokes walked out to bat at Edgbaston. Not one to rest on his laurels, he thumped 13 fours and two sixes in a typically assertive 102 not out that sealed a one-sided victory. Remarkably this was his third and final ODI century.

1. India v England – March 26, 2021

Statistics can obscure the bigger picture and this was certainly the case with Stokes. Jonny Bairstow’s century led England to a six-wicket victory in Pune but Stokes’ jaw-dropping belligerence in his 99 off 52 balls was captivating. There were 10 sixes in total in a whirlwind innings that was a perfect demonstration of England’s adherence to captain Eoin Morgan’s adventurous approach to batting.

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