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.
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.
But not everyone was as convinced, with many believing it was just a freakish accident.
Accidental #ComedyRunOut™️! Moeen drills it straight into the inside of Shaheen’s foot, whence it careens into the stumps. Stokes walks off laughing.
— Guerilla Cricket (@guerillacricket) May 14, 2019
What a way to go! 😵
Even Stokes affords himself a chuckle after he is run via Shaheen's ankle after a straight drive from Ali! 😆
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) May 14, 2019
Stokes has to go in the most unfortunate of ways as Moeen Ali's straight drive is defected off Shaheen Afridi's shoe onto the stumps
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) May 14, 2019
OUT! Ben Stokes is run out, straight drive by Moeen Ali and Shaheen deflects it onto the stumps. Out for 37. England 324/4, 35 off 52 required #ENGvPAK
— PakPassion.net (@PakPassion) May 14, 2019
Very unfortunate dismissal for Stokes there 😖
— SP (@Sunil_YG30) May 14, 2019
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.”