Aakash Chopra has lauded Ben Stokes for finally delivering the goods and scoring a century in England's 2023 World Cup win against the Netherlands.
Stokes smashed 108 runs off 84 deliveries as England set the Dutch a 340-run target in Pune on Wednesday. The last edition's champions then bundled out Scott Edwards and company for 179 to complete a 160-run win and climb into seventh position in the points table.
Reviewing the game in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra praised Stokes for ensuring that England remain in the 2025 Champions Trophy qualification race. He said (0:01):
"Ben Stokes finally arrived on the ground. He has scored a century and has kept England's Champions Trophy qualification hopes alive. You can say that only because the road to go ahead has long been closed for England."
On the flip side, the former India opener highlighted that most of the other England batters continued their dismal run in the tournament. He elaborated (5:00):
"Stokes finally scored runs and Dawid Malan scored runs but Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Harry Brook and Joe Root didn't score runs once again. This tournament is going differently. The way Joe Root got out summed up how they have tried to play."
Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Harry Brook and Jos Buttler aggregated 59 runs between them. Root was castled by Logan van Beek while playing an ungainly reverse scoop.
"Ben Stokes came and saved his team" - Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra reckons England would be happy that they didn't listen to suggestions that Ben Stokes should be released from their World Cup squad. He said (5:15):
"Malan was playing well. He will regret that he got run out. Ben Stokes came and saved his team although there were discussions that he should be released from the World Cup to keep him fresh for the five Tests against India. That is starting from January 25, why do you want to keep him fresh from now itself?"
The cricketer-turned-commentator also praised Chris Woakes for scoring a crucial half-century. He stated:
"Anyhow, he scored a century and took the team well past 300. Chris Woakes contributed in the end with a few runs although this team didn't live up to the big name they came with."
Chopra concluded by opining that while the massive win is great news for England, it may not be such great news for Pakistan. The two sides will lock horns in their final league game in Kolkata on Saturday, which might be a must-win match for the Men in Green.
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