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England vs West Indies: Ben Stokes feared the worst after ‘brain fart’ on 98

Though he scored a brilliant century, England’s struggle against West Indies’ bowling and a near miss left Ben Stokes feeling chastened.

cricket Updated: Aug 26, 2017 11:57 IST
England vs West Indies,Ben Stokes,ENG vs WI
England's Ben Stokes celebrates his century against West Indies on Day 1 of the 2nd Test against West Indies at Headingley.(Action Images via Reuters)

Ben Stokes described how a “brain fart” nearly cost him a sixth Test hundred and lamented an underwhelming day for England against West Indies despite recording three figures.

All-rounder Stokes struck exactly 100, anchoring England’s 258 all out, having entered the game with the hosts on 71-4 amid familiar top-order failures.

Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel particularly excelled with the ball, picking up four wickets apiece as the Windies gave a stiff response to their innings thrashing in the first Test, although the latter infuriated his bowling partner when dropping the simplest of catches to dismiss Stokes on 98.

Stokes brought up his hundred from the very next delivery and admitted he feared the worst, having picked out the fielder.

READ | Ben Stokes blasts 100, England out for 258 vs West Indies in Leeds Test

“I just described it as a brain fart. I don’t know what happened,” Stokes explained. “I’ve seen it going towards him [Gabriel] and I was like: ‘Oh…’.

“I saw he dropped it so it was, ‘I got away with that one’.

“I’m not quite sure what I was thinking as he was running up and then trying to hit him over his head.”

Of England’s total, Stokes added: “We said as a team in the changing rooms it’s not one of our best days with the bat.

“But you never know if it’s a good score until the West Indies innings is finished.

“It’s 260 more than we had this morning so it’s up to how we respond and how we bowl the areas we bowl. Hopefully we can create a few chances.”

Roach accounted for Mark Stoneman and Tom Westley as the tourists dominated England’s under-fire top order early on.

READ | ‘One of the best in world, if not the best’ – Ben Stokes lauds prolific Joe Root

“I think it was a good day for us - to bowl the English out on the first day is pretty good,” Roach said.

“We had a very open discussion in our team meetings and the guys were totally honest with themselves - we weren’t good enough in the last Test.

“We have point to prove in this Test and we’re going to try and play the best brand of cricket we can.”

The paceman has faith his batting colleagues can back up his and Gabriel’s excellent work.

He added: “I’m positive in the batsmen, they’ve been working very hard in the nets for the last couple of days.

“There’s no doubt I’m looking for pretty big things from them in this Test match.”

First Published: Aug 26, 2017 10:37 IST