'What a way to go': Cricket world divided over freak dismissal

Amazing skill or complete accident?

That’s the question dividing the cricket world after Ben Stokes was run-out in freak fashion in England’s ODI clash with Pakistan.

Stokes was at the non-striker’s end late in the match when Moeen Ali smashed a Shaheen Afridi delivery straight back down the pitch.

Ben Stokes was run-out in freakish fashion. Image: Sky Sports

The ball cannoned off Afridi’s foot and straight onto the stumps, leaving Stokes out of his ground and run-out.

Stokes appeared to give Afridi a thumbs up as he departed, suggesting the bowler had purposely stuck his boot out to affect the run-out.

Did Afridi mean it? Image: Sky Sports

But not everyone was as convinced, with many believing it was just a freakish accident.

Bairstow continues fine form

Jonny Bairstow’s magnificent century helped England make light work of chasing down a whopping 359-run target to beat Pakistan by six wickets in the third one-day international in Bristol as they took a 2-0 series lead.

Pakistan’s 358-8 on a flat pitch under blue skies looked to have given the tourists a fair chance of victory but it proved woefully inadequate as Bairstow led the England charge.

He smashed 128 from 93 balls after sharing a 159-run first wicket stand with Jason Roy, launching the hosts to their second-highest successful ODI run chase.

So easy did England make it look that a score of more than 400 would have been within their compass as there were still 5.1 overs left when skipper Eoin Morgan struck the victory run.

“Extremely proud, we felt that was on par, and Jonny and Jason were brilliant,” Morgan, who will lead England as favourites into the World Cup on home soil, said.

“When guys perform like this it builds confidence, for looking ahead, it builds confidence in the group.”

with Reuters