Kolkata: England pulled off a five-run victory against India at Eden Gardens on Sunday to win their first match of the tour. Last year it was the same venue where the Three Lions had lost the final of World T20 against West Indies.
Ben Stokes was in the middle of the things, when he was handed the last over in the World T20 final with the West Indies needing a stiff 19 to win, only to see Carlos Brathwaite finish the match in the first four deliveries of the over.
This time round the all-rounder delivered a match-winning performance in the tense ODI victory over India. Stokes would have been relieved to get rid of bad memories of last year’s World T20 final.
The 25-year-old Durham all-rounder was at the receiving end last year and would have been biting his nails when team-mate Chris Woakes began the final over with India needing 16 runs for victory and a 3-0 sweep of the series.
Woakes began the final over by conceding 10 runs off the first two deliveries as Kedar Jadhav smashed a six and a four through the off-side.
Despite conceding 10 runs from the first two deliveries, Woakes held his nerves to pick up Jadhav’s wicket in the fifth ball of the final over and silence a sell-out crowd of 60,000 at the Eden Gardens to clinch a five-run win.
Even though Woakes was the man of the moment, it was match Ben Stokes’ match winning performance that helped England win their first match of the tour. Stokes was later named man of the match for his unbeaten 57 off 39 balls and three key wickets, including that of danger man Virat Kohli.
"It was a difficult time last time we came here, put it down to good captaincy from Morgan getting my overs out of the way before the end. It was difficult to start, the ball was not necessarily going through the top, but it was going a bit." said Stokes.
The two sides will now face-off in three Twenty20 internationals starting in Kanpur on Thursday....