Stokes hits century in England's 6-330

Posted May 28, 2017

The switch of frontline seamers was the only change to a winning team, with all-rounder Ben Stokes declared fit after his knee injury scare as England sought an unassailable 2-0 series lead at the Ageas Bowl.

South Africa, on the other hand, have little time to put behind the loss and make a comeback to keep the series alive. That became 10 off 10 balls when David Miller (71 not out) struck Jake Ball for a six and a four off successive deliveries.

They shared an unbroken partnership of 62 off 41 balls, but that wasn't enough to spare Monday's match at Lord's from becoming a dead rubber.

But only singles followed as Miller and Morris ran out of steam.

Stokes took a full part in England's training on Friday, having bowled just two overs in the 72-run win over the tourists in the opening rubber on Wednesday at Headingley before leaving the pitch for treatment on a sore left knee. Stokes received reprieves off his first two deliveries.

Stokes smacked 101 - his second One-Day International century and joint-best score - off 79-balls as he punished the bowling in a blitz of big hits and aerial drives.

Stokes finally fell in the 44th over when he holed out in the deep to give debutante left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj (1-72) his lone wicket.

He unfurled a range of destructive shots, sending Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris for three massive sixes.

Next ball produced another edge, with wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock failing to hold a more hard chance.

Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers are all in the top 11 ODI batsman in the world and may well be on form on the south coast.

But as Wednesday s match demonstrated, England can win well without a major contribution from Stokes, a point emphasised by fast bowler Liam Plunkett.