‘With Gritted Teeth’, Ben Stokes Congratulates Australia on ODI World Cup Triumph – News18
England allrounder Ben Stokes, begrudgingly, has congratulated rivals Australia on their monumental achievement of securing a record-extending sixth ODI World Cup title.
The Pat Cummins-led side achieved the historic feat by beating hosts India in the final on November 19 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
England, who entered the tournament with the tag of the defending champions, failed to secure a place in the knockout stage owing to a series of below-par performances.
Despite their heart-breaking exit, Stokes made sure to appreciate the efforts of Australia, who started the campaign with back-to-back defeats but bounced back brilliantly in the latter phase of the competition.
In a heartfelt note on X (formerly Twitter), Stokes wrote, “Taken me a while to type this with gritted teeth. Congrats to Pat Cummins and his Australia team on winning the World Cup, after 8 weeks of hard-fought cricket there is nothing better than lifting that trophy at the end of it.”
Though England failed miserably in the title defence, Stokes was able to demonstrate his quality with the bat. He missed the first few matches of the World Cup. But once given a chance, Stokes showcased his A-game with the bat.
In his six appearances in the tournament, the English allrounder accumulated 304 runs at an average of over 50.
He notched up his maiden ODI World Cup century against the Netherlands.
The 32-year-old also registered two half-centuries during the campaign.
He had announced his retirement from ODI cricket back in July 2022 But reversed the decision ahead of the World Cup in a bid to represent his country at the global event.
Australia lost their first two league matches to India and South Africa.
Cummins and Co, however, won all of the subsequent fixtures and qualified for the semi-finals as the third team. In the knockout stage, Australia got the opportunity to take revenge for the first two defeats. They were up against South Africa in the second semi-final, which turned out to be a low-scoring affair.
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Batting first, the Proteas managed to set a target of 214 runs. Though it looked like an easy chase for Australia, they went on to lose wickets in quick succession.
Riding on a 62-run knock from Travis Head, Australia finally reached the target in 47.2 overs with three wickets in hand. Head replicated the match-winning performance against India as well. The Aussie opener played a 137-run innings in the final, helping his team pick up a 6-wicket victory.
first published: November 21, 2023, 14:11 IST