Season’s most expensive player Ben Stokes proved his worth on Monday when he smashed his maiden IPL century to guide Rising Pune Supergiant to a five-wicket win over Gujarat Lions at the MCA Stadium in Pune.
Despite having suffered a strain, England all-rounder kept the spirits alive till the end and struck mesmerizing 103 runs off 63 balls with six sixes and seven boundaries.
“It's always nice, personal accolades and stuff like that, but we are on a roll as a team. If we keep performing like this, we can see ourselves in the final,” Stokes said in the post-match ceremony, where he was bestowed with the Man Of The Match award.
The 25-year-old cricketer assured that the injury is not a serious one and he will recover soon. “It's cramps in the calves. I get that a lot. Legs are not the best at the moment but I will be okay,” he said.
With wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni, Stokes put a 76-run partnership stand for the fifth-wicket. The Englishman called the partnership stand ‘vital’ for RPS’ triumph in Pune.
“We lost a few early wickets, and the start didn't help. I and MS tried to tick along and get something going. We wanted to attack early, then cool off to take it over by over,” Stokes added.
South African pacer Dale Steyn also hailed Stokes for his fearless cricket. “There are some serious cricketers at the Ipl #stokes,” he tweeted.
Losing team’s captain Suresh Raina also couldn’t stop himself praising the English cricketer.
“We played really well. Last over we did not bowl well. Credit goes to Stokes, he batted really well. He took his chances and played really well. He was hitting well. He was hitting clean and all those big sixes,” Raina said in the post-match presentation.