Stokes smashes record 182 as England trounce Kiwis
Ben Stokes clobbered the highest score by an England batter in a one-day international in a 181-run trouncing of New Zealand at The Kia Oval.
In only his third ODI since coming out of retirement to play in this year's World Cup, Stokes hammered some wayward New Zealand bowling for nine sixes and 15 fours in his 124-ball stay.
Arriving at 13-2, Stokes added 199 for the third wicket with Dawid Malan, an England record partnership in an ODI against the Black Caps. Malan's 96 did plenty to cement his place in the starting XI for the World Cup in India.
Despite losing their last six wickets for 32 runs, England piled up 368. Given the carnage caused by Stokes, Trent Boult's figures of 5-51 were extraordinary.
Faced with pulling off the highest successful chase in an ODI in England, New Zealand were soon in disarray at 37-4, thanks chiefly to a three-wicket burst from Chris Woakes, who expertly used the movement on offer in an eight-over opening spell.
Glenn Phillips battled to 72 to prolong the match, but after he was lbw on review to Liam Livingstone, New Zealand were hustled out for 187.
England take a 2-1 lead in the series, which they can win with victory in the fourth and final match at Lord's on Friday.
Even with a troublesome left knee that will restrict his World Cup involvement to batting only, it is Stokes' ability to play innings like these that made England so keen to have the Test captain as part of their title defence in India.
Not only can he deliver in clutch moments such as the 2019 final or the 2022 T20 World Cup final, few can match Stokes for savage ball-striking when he finds the range he did on an overcast day at The Oval.
England were in trouble after Jonny Bairstow fell to the first ball of the match and Joe Root dragged on, both off Boult, only for Stokes to respond in record-breaking fashion.
It was actually Malan who was the catalyst for England's recovery, the opener timing the ball sweetly square on both sides as Stokes struggled for fluency.
Often hacking at the ball, Stokes did not score a run off the first six deliveries he faced and had only 12 from his first 18. It was the introduction of left-arm spinner Rachin Ravindra that jolted Stokes into life. Three sixes were hoisted over deep mid-wicket, Ravindra went for 28 from his only two overs and Stokes never looked back.
Scoring almost exclusively through the leg side, Stokes brought up his fourth ODI hundred and first since 2017 from 76 balls, his quickest in this format. Though he lost Malan, caught down the leg side on review off Boult, Stokes added 78 in 46 deliveries with captain Jos Buttler.
Stokes walloped off-spinner Phillips over cow corner to bring up his 150 and hit the same bowler into the second tier of the pavilion with a monstrous straight blow.
The left-hander brought up the record with his final maximum, hitting a full toss from the pace of Ben Lister over long-on. The Oval crowd did not appreciate the significance of the moment immediately, but responded with rapturous applause when Stokes' achievement was announced on the big screen.
With more than five overs of the innings remaining, Stokes had time to become the first England batter to reach 200 in an ODI.
However, two balls after bettering Roy's mark, he miscued another Lister full toss and was caught at deep square leg by Will Young.
After Robin Smith held the England ODI record for 23 years with 167 made in 1993, it has now been broken three times since 2016, first by Alex Hales, then Roy, now Stokes.
The highest score by a batter in an ODI is the 264 made by India's Rohit Sharma against Sri Lanka in Kolkata in 2014.
Former captain Charlotte Edwards holds the record for the highest score by an England woman in an ODI for her 173 not out against Ireland in 1997.
Stokes' pyrotechnics lit up what could have otherwise been a flat affair between two sides playing each other in a white-ball international for the seventh time in 15 days.
New Zealand fielded three players not even in their World Cup squad, while England have concerns over Roy, who again missed out with a back spasm. Harry Brook waits in the wings to replace Roy in a World Cup party that will be confirmed after Friday's game at Lord's.
In Roy's absence, Malan took advantage of being dropped on 31 by wicketkeeper Tom Latham. So often facing questions over his place in the England side, Malan pushed his career ODI average to 61.26, the second-highest of all-time for men who have played at least 20 innings.
While Malan is in fine form, Root could do with a score - he has made only 10 runs in three innings in this series. England were also wasteful at the back end of their innings, from 336-4 in the 43rd over, they could have reached 400, though at halfway 368 seemed a big ask for New Zealand.
So it proved when Woakes, bowling a full length, got the new ball nibbling around. The nip-backer he produced to bowl left-hander Latham through the gate was sublime.
The contest was effectively over long before the floodlights started to take effect. After being punished by Stokes, Phillips at least salvaged something from his day, only to miss a half-tracker from Livingstone that was shown to be hitting the stumps.
That was the first of three wickets for Livingstone, who had Lister stumped to seal England's second-largest ODI victory over New Zealand in terms of runs.
'I said sorry to Jason' - reaction
England captain Jos Buttler to BBC's Test Match Special: "We were tested losing two early wickets but it's exactly what I wanted us to do, take more risks, be more on the front foot.
"Stokes has played a few good ones, but that was amazing. To score the highest one-day score for England, it was amazing.
"I haven't seen as good new ball bowling in white-ball cricket for a while. Woakes and Topley were brilliant, it was a fantastic opening spell."
England batter Ben Stokes: "It's not as easy as coming back and playing. You definitely have much more time. It's just familiarising myself with the ebbs and flows of it and it's something I think I did well here.
"The bloke on the tannoy announced it just before I got out. I had no idea I had the record. Jason said well done and I said sorry to him."
New Zealand captain Tom Latham: "Stokes and Dawid were fantastic. We tried to change things up, but they countered everything.
"We did pull it back at the end of the innings but then we were 40-4, and we couldn't get any partnerships together.
"We were thoroughly outplayed - but we have a big opportunity to level the series at Lord's."
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