England men's Test captain Ben Stokes is in superlative form in the ongoing County Championship Division Two, plying his trade for Durham.
After an inspiring 161 against Worcestershire, the dynamic all-rounder played another gem of a knock against Glamorgan at the Riverside in Chester-le-Street. He top-scored with 82 runs as Durham posted 311 runs in their first innings.
While it was a thorough innings, Ben Stokes had his share of discomfort when Australian cricketer Marnus Labuschagne hit the the former in the box. The Aussie banged the ball short as Stokes tried to dispatch the delivery on the leg side.
He went hard at the ball but ended up inside-edging it. The ball ricocheted off the bat only to hit the batter into the unmentionables. The 30-year-old was seen grimacing in pain as he lay on the floor.
However, Stokes was quick to get on his feet and get on with the proceedings.
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Along with Stokes, Keegan Petersen also made significant contributions with the bat, scoring 78 runs. In reply, Glamorgan were 31/2 at stumps on day 1.
Meanwhile, Ben Stokes will hope to continue the good run as he gears up to lead England for the first time as full-time captain. They lock horns with New Zealand in a three-match Test series, starting June 2 at Lord's.
"There's a lot that needs to change" - Ben Stokes on England's road ahead in red-ball format
The talented all-rounder, who skipped the IPL to play County Cricket, accepted that turning England's fortunes around will be tough. However, Stokes is confident that he can lift a side that has lost three of the last four series.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Ben Stokes said:
"It is a challenge, especially after the last few years. There's a lot that needs to change, not only on the field, and those discussions will be had."
"But for me, it's not about focusing on what's gone in the past. It's all about focusing on what we've got going forward and obviously that starts now, and then starts [at Lord's] on the second of June."
England currently languish in the ninth spot in the ongoing World Test Championship. It will require a lot of work from Stokes and newly-appointed Test coach Brendon McCullum to lift the team up from the dumps.