Ton-up Stokes stars as England stop rot against the Netherlands
PUNE, India (AFP)— Ben Stokes’ maiden World Cup hundred set-up a 160-run win for England over the Netherlands in Pune on Wednesday as the struggling champions climbed off the bottom of the table.
Victory ended a five-game losing streak, with England having long since ceased to be in semi-final contention.
But just their second win of the 10-team tournament maintained England’s hopes of a top-eight finish that would qualify them for the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan.
England were in trouble at 192-6 after yet another batting collapse before Stokes’ 108 and 51 from fellow all-rounder Chris Woakes took them to 339-9 in 50 overs.
The Netherlands were never in the hunt, collapsing to 179 all out inside 38 overs, Woakes and David Willey striking with the new ball before spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid took three wickets each.
“I’m more pleased for us to get a victory over the line, it’s been a tough World Cup,” said Stokes.
England talisman Stokes, battling a longstanding knee injury, made a painstaking fifty in 58 balls and then accelerated, taking just 20 more deliveries to reach his fifth one-day international century.
He was well-supported by Woakes as England added 124 runs in the last 10 overs to finish on 339-9.
Test skipper Stokes, 32, eventually holed out in the last over for 108.
A target of 340 always looked like it might be beyond non-Test side the Netherlands, who had twice defeated England at the T20 World Cup but lost all six of the teams’ previous ODI meetings.
England came into this match rock bottom of the table but opener Dawid Malan led the way with a 36-ball fifty that featured 40 runs in boundaries after skipper Jos Buttler won the toss.
England, however, lost two wickets in quick succession.
Joe Root fell for 28 in bizarre fashion when bowled between his legs by Logan van Beek attempting a reverse scoop.
And 133-2 became 139-3 when Malan was run out in sight of his second hundred of the tournament when sent back by Stokes going for a needless single.
Harry Brook gave his wicket away before Buttler and Moeen both fell tamely in single figures.
Stokes, dropped in the deep on 41 off a tough chance, survived a tight lbw review before smashing a no-ball from spinner Aryan Dutt — and the ensuing free-hit — for sixes.
He went into the 90s with another six, a straight drive off Bas de Leede.
A reverse swept four off paceman Paul van Meekeren, his sixth of the innings, saw Stokes to a 78-ball hundred that included five sixes on a ground where he had played for Pune in the Indian Premier League.
Woakes and Stokes shared a seventh-wicket stand of 129.
Van Beek — who bowled 10 wides — suffering in a return of 2-88.
The Netherlands slumped to 13-2 in reply, Max O’Dowd chipping Woakes to mid-on before Colin Ackermann was caught behind for a duck off Willey
Several batsmen made it into the 30s, while Teja Nidamanuru was left stranded on 41 not out when last man van Meekeren was stumped off Moeen.