Ben Stokes sets new ODI record as England thrash New Zealand

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Ben Stokes played the innings of a lifetime on Wednesday, smashing a record-breaking 182 runs, marking the highest score ever by an England batsman in a one-day international. 

His exceptional performance paved the way for a resounding victory over New Zealand at The Oval and sent a stern message to their World Cup rivals, just weeks before they begin their title defence in India. 

England’s situation looked grim early on as they stumbled to 13-2 following Trent Boult’s quick double strike. However, Stokes, accompanied by Dawid Malan’s impressive 96, managed to turn the tide with a crucial third-wicket partnership of 199, helping England recover to a total of 368 all out. 

Stokes was the standout star, hitting a remarkable 182 off 124 balls, featuring 15 fours and nine sixes, surpassing Jason Roy’s previous record of 180.

Despite Stokes’s remarkable innings, Boult’s performance kept New Zealand in the game, taking five wickets for 51 runs in 9.1 overs. England seemed poised for a massive total at 348-5 when Stokes was dismissed, but they faltered in the final stages, losing their last five wickets for just 20 runs.

Nevertheless, England had more than enough runs to defend. Chris Woakes, with his figures of 3-31, played a crucial role in dismissing New Zealand for 187. The absence of regular skipper Kane Williamson, due to a pre-World Cup recovery from a knee injury, further weakened the New Zealand side.

Glenn Phillips offered resistance with a 72-run knock, but Liam Livingstone’s three wickets for 16 runs sealed the deal, as New Zealand were bowled out with 11 overs to spare.

While Stokes’s extraordinary performance brought jubilation, there were concerns as he occasionally grimaced in pain due to a chronic knee problem, which he hopes to manage throughout the upcoming World Cup.

Despite some early setbacks for England, the return of Dawid Malan, who missed the previous game for the birth of his son, was a significant boost. He contributed with a 52-ball fifty, underlining his determination to secure a spot in the 15-man World Cup squad.

Stokes took 15 runs off a single Lockie Ferguson over, including three fours and three massive sixes off left-arm spinner Rachin Ravindra. 

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