Ben’s Heroic Performance

Lord’s – Sometimes a sporting hero emerges from the sufferings of defeat and not the highs of victory. While England suffered another World Cup loss, this time against Australia, Ben Stokes again played the hero to perfection.

Ben is becoming a back against the wall hero. The type of hero many English sports fans love and admire.

At its simplest, and to vulgarise Kipling, Ben keeps his wicket intact while others are losing theirs.

In England’s defeat by Sri Lanka (21 June) Ben made 82no. At Lord’s yesterday he scored 89 runs. Giving England, for the briefest period, an outsider’s chance of victory.

Australia set England 286 to win. In the 14th over they were 53-4 and England’s batting was on life-support.

There was hope of recovery while Ben and Jos Buttler (25) batted together. After Jos was out, Chris Woakes (26) and Ben kept the innings beating.

Troubled by sore calves, it was Ben who held the innings together, giving England supporters a whiff of hope. He read the pitch perfectly, played shots accordingly and was rewarded.

His 89 runs came off 115 balls (8 fours, 2 sixes). During his innings Ben also passed 2500 runs in ODI’s.

Ben was the 6th batter out with the score on 177. England were all out for 221. Giving Australia victory by 64 runs.

Earlier, Ben bowled 6 overs for 29 runs and claimed 1 wicket.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)