Three memorable Ben Stokes performances from Indian T20 League 2017
Ben Stokes had an unforgettable run in the 2017 season of the Indian T20 League with Pune. Possessing a Midas touch throughout the tournament, he not only accumulated 316 runs with the bat but also picked up 12 wickets with his bowling.
Pune made their way into the finals riding on Stokes' all-round heroics but his departure to England for national duty at the business end of the tournament saw the team going down to Mumbai in the grand finale. That, however, didn't stop Stokes from bagging the Player of the Tournament award.
We look back on three of Ben Stokes' most memorable performances from the 2017 edition of the tournament.
103* vs Gujarat
This is Stokes' best batting performance in the Indian T20 League till date. He played a magnificent knock of an unbeaten 103 off just 63 deliveries to power Pune to a thrilling win over Gujarat in the 39th match of the edition.
Batting first, Gujarat posted a competitive total of 161 on the board. Pune were expected to put up a tough fight but Gujarat had tamed them right at the start of their innings, reducing them to 10-for-3 within the second over.
They looked completely down and out of the contest as they got reduced further to 42-for-4 by the sixth over but Stokes had other ideas. He steadied the ship with a 76-run stand with MS Dhoni and then launched an assault along with Daniel Christian in the final three overs to score the remaining 49 runs.
Thus, ended one of the finest chases ever witnessed in the history of the tournament.
39 and 3/30 vs Hyderabad
This was Stokes' finest all-round performance in the 2017 edition of the tournament. Firstly, he played a brisk knock of 39 to propel Pune to a total of 148/8 and then, he bowled a brilliant spell of 3-for-30 to help his team in restricting Hyderabad to a total of 136/9.
He accounted for all three of Hyderabad's top-order batsmen -- David Warner, Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan -- with his bowling, and his valuable knock of 39 helped RPS gain some much-needed acceleration in their innings.
However, his performance was overshadowed by Jaydev Unadkat, who was adjudged Player of the Match for registering a five-wicket haul.
3/18 vs Bangalore
Stokes may be a batting all-rounder but it was his bowling that took centre-stage in this match against Bangalore. He couldn't contribute much with the bat as he was dismissed cheaply for just a couple of runs but a fine effort from the other Pune batsmen enabled them to post a total of 161/8.
The star-studded Bangalore batting line-up was expected to chase this total down comfortably but the Pune bowlers had other ideas in mind.
Four out of the five bowlers who bowled for Pune in this match picked up at least two wickets but Stokes stood out among them, as he not only picked up three wickets but bowled at a mean economy rate of 4.50 as well. Not only that, his scalps included the big wickets of Virat Kohli and Shane Watson, summing up the impact he made that night.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Indranil Mukherjee