Ben Stokes leaves cricket world gobsmacked in never-before-seen 'carnage'

Stokes' backflip on his ODI retirement has been vindicated in 'ludicrous' scenes at The Oval.

Pictured here, Ben Stokes batting for England in an ODI against New Zealand.

England cricket star Ben Stokes' decision to backflip on his international one-day retirement has been vindicated in a record-breaking display of batting against New Zealand at The Oval. Stokes belted a staggering 182 runs off 124 balls in the third ODI against the Kiwis to set the highest-ever score for England in the 50-over format.

The 32-year-old Test skipper eclipsed Jason Roy's previous-best ODI score of 180 set against Australia in 2018. Stokes clobbered nine sixes and 15 fours in his batting masterclass, which was the 24th highest individual score ever in the 50-over format.

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The extraordinary display highlighted why England were so keen to talk Stokes out of retirement before their title defence at the ODI World Cup, which gets underway in India in October. "Coming back into the team after a while out, it's nice to come back and help the team," said Stokes, who revealed he apologised to Roy for breaking his England record.

England's batting innings got off to a horror start, with Jonny Bairstow dismissed first ball. The hosts were 2-13 after 16 deliveries when Stokes and Dawid Malan (96 off 95) came together and put on a 199-run stand for the third wicket.

Stokes' 182 runs was also the second-biggest score in history for a batter coming in at number four or below in an ODI - with only West Indies great Sir Viv Richards (189no) bettering the Englishman in that regard. The astonishing innings understandably lit up social media, with Stokes' batting display described as "ludicrous" and "outrageous" around the cricket world.

When Stokes was eventually dismissed off the bowling of Ben Lister, England were 6-348 with more than five overs remaining. However, his departure sparked a batting collapse from the home side who only made 20 more runs to finish all out on 368. Kiwi quick Trent Boult was the pick of the visitors bowlers, taking figures of 5-51.

Kiwis hammered by relentless England

New Zealand's chase never really got going after they were reduced to 5-70 in the 17th over. Recalled England seamer Chris Woakes (3-31) removed three of the top five in the batting order, and only Glenn Phillips (72 off 76 balls) registered a score of real note before the tourists were bowled out for 187.

Not surprisingly, England's Ben Stokes collected the player of the match award after the third ODI against New Zealand. Pic: Getty
Not surprisingly, England's Ben Stokes collected the player of the match award after the third ODI against New Zealand. Pic: Getty

"We were thoroughly outplayed," New Zealand captain Tom Latham said after the crushing 181-run defeat. The tourists can only draw the series now, with England 2-1 up heading into the final match at Lord's.

Stokes has made a seamless return to ODIs a year after retiring from the 50-over format because of what he described as an "unsustainable" schedule. As well as captaining the Test side, he has also been an integral part of the England T20 side that were crowned world champions in 2022.

The 32-year-old made a half century (52) in the first ODI against New Zealand and now has surpassed his previous best ODI knock of 102, making his fourth hundred in 93 innings in the format. "He's played a few good ones... but that was amazing," England captain Jos Buttler said about Stokes, whose heroics in all three formats have been well documented.

Roy was absent again after having another back spasm hours before the match and could now be a doubt for the World Cup. Harry Brook dropped out of the team to accommodate the return of Malan and has only made 25 and two in this series, while Joe Root was dismissed for four to add to scores of six and zero this series.

with AAP

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