April 21, 2024

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IPL: Ben Stokes returns to action with win in his first match since August

England all-rounder Ben Stokes played his first match since August as his Rajasthan Royals beat Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.

Stokes ended his international season after the first Test against Pakistan to travel to New Zealand to be with his father Ged, who has brain cancer.

He bowled one over for seven but lasted just six balls with the bat before he was bowled for five by Khaleel Ahmed.

However, the Royals sealed a five-wicket victory with a ball to spare.

For Stokes it was his first T20 match in 238 days and only his fourth white-ball match since the World Cup final last year.

Stokes’ England team-mate and opening partner Jos Buttler was involved in the run out of Steve Smith and also fell victim to Khaleel to one that nipped back and trapped him lbw for 16 as Rajasthan stuttered in their pursuit of 159.

But a brilliant partnership between Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag guided the Royals home.

Earlier Jonny Bairstow, who last month lost his Test central contract for the coming year, also made just 16 before Australia’s David Warner and India’s Manish Pandey guided Sunrisers to 158-4.

Rajasthan’s Jofra Archer returned impressive figures of 1-25 from his four overs – including dismissing Warner as he did four times during Australia’s white-ball tour of England in September.