Smashing a County Championship-record 17 sixes Ben Stokes scored a stunning 161 off just 88 balls on his first appearance of the season for Durham.
Just days after being named England men’s Test captain, Stokes marked his return to the county game in some style.
Stokes dispatched Worcestershire left-arm spinner Josh Baker for five sixes in a row, the last of which brought up a 64-ball hundred shortly before lunch on day two at New Road.
He followed that with a four as Baker’s over was taken for an eye-watering 34 runs. Yet another six brought up Stokes’ 150 and soon after he surpassed the previous record-high of 16 sixes jointly held by Andrew Symonds and Graham Napier.
Stokes hit the most sixes in any first-class innings of fewer than 200 runs, while it was the second time he has struck five successive sixes in the County Championship, having also achieved the feat at Hampshire in 2011.
Replacing Joe Root as England’s 81st Test captain, Stokes led England to six wins out of seven in the summer. His first series as England Captain couldn’t have gone much better, guiding England to a 3-0 series whitewash over New Zealand.
His best outing as captain came against South Africa with an unbeaten 103*, as he averaged 40 with the bat and 25 with the ball throughout the summer.
Stokes played his part in England’s T20 Mens World Cup win but his numbers tell only half the story. As Stokes does, he performed on the biggest stage possible. He timed his innings to perfection, reached his first T20 international half-century and then back-pedalled down the pitch in celebration after hitting the winning run.
Another nerveless knock got England over the line in the do-or-die clash with Sri Lanka and he was solid with the ball throughout the tournament, including in the final where he was pushed to bowl four overs and took a wicket.
- Durham representative number
- Left-hand bat, right-arm fast-medium
- First-class debut
- vs MCC (March 2010)