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Cricket World Cup 2023: Ben Stokes scores 108 to seal England's win over Netherlands

Cricket World Cup 2023: Ben Stokes scores 108 to seal England's win over Netherlands

  • Written by Matthew Henry
  • BBC Sport in Pune

video caption, Stokes reaches the century as England beat Netherlands

ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, Pune

England 339-9 (50 overs): Stokes 108 (84), Malan 87 (74); They scored 3-74

Netherlands 179 (37.2 overs): Nidamanoro 41* (34); Moin 3-42, Rashid 3-54

Ben Stokes hit a brilliant century as England extended their beleaguered World Cup campaign with a 160-run win over the Netherlands in Pune.

The holders' hopes of progressing were effectively over, but the result improved their chances of qualifying for the 2025 Champions Cup.

Stokes hit 108 off 84 balls, his fifth one-day international century but his first in a World Cup, to rescue England's batting line-up from further misery and drag them to 339-9.

Dawid Malan's 87 runs gave England a lead at 133-1 before the collapse – Malan, Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Harry Brook and Moeen Ali were all out in quick succession – left them reeling at 192-6 in the 36th over.

But Stokes, who fell crucially on 42 balls, got off to a steady start in a partnership of 129 off 81 balls with Chris Woakes, who made an important 51 balls.

Holland's chase never got going after early blows from Woakes and David Willey.

They were dismissed for 179 in 37.2 overs, with Willie taking 2-19, Moeen Ali 3-42 and Adil Rashid 3-54.

England's second win in eight matches lifts them from bottom of the table to seventh with one match to play – a meeting with Pakistan on Saturday.

They must finish in the top eight to claim the Champions Trophy, and while a win in Kolkata will ensure qualification, they may have enough to do if other results go their way.

The defeat mathematically ended the Netherlands' chances of occupying one of the top four places, and they will face leaders India in their final match on Sunday.

Stokes takes the lead again

video caption, 'Worst ball in the World Cup' – Stokes smashes Dutt for six

Stokes will wonder why this innings, which included six fours and six sixes, could not have come sooner.

England's hopes of reaching the semi-finals were effectively dashed long before Saturday's defeat by Australia confirmed their exit.

Their talisman Stokes is also scheduled to undergo surgery on his long-standing knee problem next week and England will be very grateful that he has resisted calls to return home early.

They had never lost an ODI to Holland, but a shock was not far-fetched with the wickets down.

After reaching 50 in 58 balls, Stokes took just 20 balls to reach three figures in another display of power hitting, as the Test captain targeted the leg side and Holland lost their discipline, conceding 21 extras in total.

After surviving a close umpire review in which he was deemed to have been given a poor inside edge, Stokes took 23 off the 45th over bowled by spinner Aryan Dutt, including a head-height full toss that was crossed for six before the subsequent free hit. For a long time.

Stokes was eventually caught trying to bat in the final over. The Netherlands are not the first team to struggle with their attack and they will not be the last.

More batting struggles elsewhere

video caption, I've been nutmeg! – Root thrown through his legs by Van Beek

England's misery in India was entirely due to collapses with the bat. Stokes made sure his latest was harmless.

Malan took advantage of the Dutch generosity with the new ball, driving when the bowling regularly drifted full, but fellow opener Jonny Bairstow failed again when he attempted to fly off spinner Dutt and was caught at deep square leg.

Root batted to 28, his highest score in six matches, before being playfully bowled through his legs as he attempted to play a trademark reverse scoop to seamer Logan van Beek, who was then run out by Malan.

Brook, who was recalled for Liam Livingstone, made 11 before sledding to deep wicket, while Buttler's miserable spell continued when he clipped seamer Paul van Mekeren to mid-on for five.

The England captain is averaging 13.87 in the tournament, taking 43 points.

However, he remains determined to lead England's rebuilding one-dayer, stating afterwards that he intends to lead his side on December's tour of the Caribbean, rather than take time off.

Willie & Weeks impression

While their batting has struggled, England's bowling has at least improved in the last three matches.

Here, seamers Woakes and Willie found movement under the lights while Holland was strangely hesitant.

After opener Max O'Dowd Woakes hit Moeen's hand at mid-off and Colin Ackermann was caught behind for a duck from Willey, there was a run of 13 consecutive dot balls. The Dutch managed just 23 points from the powerplay – the lowest return of the tournament so far.

Opener Wesley Parisi had 62 balls to make 37 and Sibrand Engelbrecht 49 for 33.

Captain Scott Edwards, who made 38, and Teja Nidamanuru, who finished unbeaten with 41, briefly held off England before spinners Moeen and Rashid ran through the rest of the order to complete the win.

“We were desperate to win” – reaction

video caption, Malan hits three consecutive fours at number two

Player of the match: Englishman Ben Stokes: He added: “I am more than happy because we achieved victory at the finish line. It was a difficult World Cup and it is nice to get back to winning ways.”

“I use the scoreboard as my friend a lot. Whenever or if I feel the pressure mounting, I look up and realize that you have more time than you think.”

England Captain Jos Buttler: “We were desperate to win. We started the game really well, and we had a speed bump in the middle.

“We needed someone to stand up and take charge. There was some very intelligent cricket between Stokes and Woakes to get us to this result.

“The Pakistan game is huge. At the end of a disappointing tournament, we finished with a match that meant a lot.”

Netherlands Captain Scott Edwards: “We didn't start well, the bowlers did a good job of pulling it back but they took it away from us and got a little higher. Same old story with the bat.”

“We've been in good form in spells, we just need to do it longer. England are a good team and they took that away from us.”

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