Stokes finished on 63 not out as England chased down the home side’s 223 all out with more than 12 overs to spare. It was Stokes’s second match back for England after nearly five months out of the international game following a controversy with two men outside a nightclub in Bristol which led to his arrest and a court case that is due to begin next month. Stokes missed the Ashes series as well as the ODI and T20 series which followed.
After finally coming back in International cricket, Stokes said he was relieved and happy to be back with the team.
“It was a great feeling to be walking off there at the end not out especially after a really commanding performance from the team. It was quite emotional walking off the field. It made me understand how much of a privilege it is to represent your country. It was a different feeling to what it was normally but it was a great feeling.”
“There was relief, happiness. It’s been a long time and hopefully this is a stepping stone to where I can build. We’ve got a massive summer coming up and the World Cup after that so hopefully this is the start of it.”
Stokes was never out of the game:
“I’ve been working hard at home, making sure that when the opportunity came again for me to represent England that I wasn’t going to let anyone down. I wanted to expect to participate in full rather than get eased back into the team. I wouldn’t have expected anything less of myself and I don’t think Morgy would expect anything less of me either.”
NZ 223 (49.4) | Guptill 50 (87), Santner 63* (52) | Moeen 2/33
ENG 225/4 (37.5) | Morgan 62 (63), Stokes 63* (74) | Boult 2/46
Result: England won by 4 wickets