England skipper Alastair Cook lauded the efforts of all-rounder Ben Stokes who changed the course of the 1st Test match between England and New Zealand almost single-handedly. England registered a thrilling Test victory over New Zealand on the fifth day of the 1st Test by 124 runs.
England were trailing by 134 runs after the first innings. But it was a valiant effort from the England captain and Stokes who powered England to a lead of 344 runs. Cook propelled his way to 162 and Stokes registered the fastest Test century at The Lord's Cricket Ground.
"Ben Stokes played an innings of the like I've never seen before. We had a hundred lead when he came in, and when he was out two hours later it was about 270 and I'd scored 10 of them. We've just got to keep backing him and he'll be a tremendous cricketer," said Cook in an interview to the official website of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
The target proved to be way too much for the Black Caps and they were reduced to 12 for three. It was Kane Williamson and Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum who settled things down for their side for a while.
But it was again Stokes who came in to bowl and picked up two wickets in two balls to dismiss the Kiwi skipper McCullum and the first innings centurion Williamson to change the course of the game in England's favour. BJ Watling and Corey Anderson did put up a late fight, but they too were dismissed in quick succession.
"The whole match has been amazing. I have been striking the ball pretty well in the nets but I didn't expect that innings. It was more of a fluke. It was a lovely moment when I got two wickets in two balls today and the crowd were magnificent," said Stokes.