Stokes fires warning shot
The England Performance Programme will be out for revenge tomorrow when they face the Netherlands in a one-off Twenty20 game at Pune.
The EPP yesterday suffered a four-wicket loss to the Dutch to share the 50-over mini-series, having won the first encounter by seven wickets on Thursday.
Ben Stokes’ all-round display was the major consolation of defeat, reached with 22 deliveries left. He smashed 69 not out from 48 balls before taking 4-48 from 10 overs.
“I’m pleased on a personal level. It’s good to see that the hard work we put in in training is coming off in the game,” he told ecb.co.uk.
Stokes thinks the EPP’s 261 for six was a decent total. Besides his own contribution, it was built on others from Craig Kieswetter (63), Gary Ballance (40), Scott Borthwick (22) and Matt Coles (14 not out).
“It’s not the best losing, wherever you go, but I think we did very well getting to 260. We started up in the toughest conditions to bat first. The ball was doing a little bit,” Stokes said.
“The guys in the middle, Kiesy and Gaz, did a really good job and stuck the hard yards out for me, Scotty and Colesey to come in at the end.”
The EPP’s bowling is another matter for Stokes, who sees room for improvement in that area before the tourists return home on Monday.
“I think the only thing that I could probably put my finger on is maybe we bowled a bit too wide. We gave them a little bit too much width. We probably bowled three, four good balls an over and then, to be critical, maybe we didn’t finish off the over like we started,” he added.
“It wasn’t really offering much from a seaming perspective. The ball was turning, but your margin for error as a seamer wasn’t very high out there.”