Ben Stokes lifts England to 309-8 with maiden ODI ton


Ben Stokes struck his maiden century as England recovered from a shaky start to post 309-8 in the first one-day international of a three-match series against Bangladesh in Dhaka on Friday.

Bangladesh seized the initiative early on, reducing the visitors to 63-3 inside 13 overs before Stokes propelled the visitors towards a challenging target.

Stokes hit 101 off 100 balls with eight fours and four sixes and was dismissed just after completing his century.

A miscued pull shot landed in the safe hands of Sabbir Rahman at deep-midwicket as Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza ended Stokes’ onslaught.

Stokes, who was dropped twice, by Mahmudullah and Mosharraf Hossain, when he was at 69 and 71, received invaluable support from debutant Ben Duckett. The duo put on 153 runs for the fourth wicket.

Duckett, batting at number three on his debut, showed composure to hit 60 off 78 balls.

England slowed down after the rapid departure of Duckett and Stokes but skipper Jos Buttler ensured momentum was not lost by smashing 63 off just 38 balls to take his side past the 300-run mark.

Shakib Al Hasan dismissed Buttler, who clubbed three fours and four sixes, in the final over for his second wicket. Skipper Mortaza and Shafiul also grabbed two wickets each for Bangladesh.

Asked to bowl first by stand-in England captain Buttler, Bangladesh restrained England’s openers before Shafiul forced James Vince (16) to give a catch at mid-on to Mortaza for his side’s first breakthrough.

Jason Roy, who shared 41 runs with Vince in the opening stand, appeared confident and played a few positive strokes before he fell to Shakib for 41 off 40 balls as Sabbir Rahman took a well-judged catch at long-off.

Sabbir showed his agility in the field when he ran out Jonny Bairstow for a duck with a direct throw from mid-off in the next over.

But the host bowlers, especially the spinners, had no answer to Stokes’s power.

The series started amid tight security, with fans waiting in long queues and being patted down by policemen before entering the stadium.

Roads adjacent to the ground were kept off-limits for bystanders while security personnel were deployed around the stadium.

© 2016 AFP

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