Pune All-rounder Ben Stokes became the first Englishman to score a century in the Indian Premier League since Kevin Pietersen achieved the feat in 2012 as Rising Pune Supergiants claimed a thrilling five-wicket victory over Gujarat Lions.
Stokes overcame a severe bout of cramp to smash 103 off 63 balls as Pune chased down a target of 162 to win with just one ball to spare. The 25-year-old came in to bat with his side under enormous pressure at 4 for 42 but he produced a superb unbeaten innings, which included six maximums, to guide the hosts home in the final over.
In the process, Stokes became the first Englishman to score a century in the IPL since Pietersen made an identical unbeaten score for the Delhi Daredevils against the Deccan Chargers in 2012. The remarkable innings goes some way towards paying back the record £1.7million fee Pune paid for his services in the IPL auction back in February.
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Stokes became the IPL’s highest-paid foreign player when he joined Pune this season but his injury-hit campaign has been largely underwhelming up until this point. The Supergiants will next face the Kolkata Knight Riders on May 3, while Gujarat play Delhi Daredevils the following day.
- Maksudul HAQUE, Correspondent, bdcrictime