Ben Stokes played a crucial role in England’s win over New Zealand in the first semi-final at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi. Stokes was on the money in the death overs as he frequently hit the blockhole and was a pain in the neck for the Kiwi batsmen. After that game, it seemed that England’s woes in the death overs had finally found a solution in the form of Stokes. Stokes too was satisfied with his outing against the Blackcaps in Delhi.
However, what followed in the all-important final at the Eden Gardens was simply catastrophic for the destructive England all-rounder. With 19 runs in the bank for the final over, Stokes was belted for four consecutive sixes by the brawny Carlos Braithwaite to seal the game for the West Indies. A dejected and teary eyed Stokes was seen with his head hanging in grief over the proceedings.
Post the game, England skipper Eoin Morgan quickly admitted that the team was with Stokes in his hour of pain and he would have all the support from his team members. “It’s quite simple from my point of view,” said Morgan. “Stokes is going to be devastated, and it’ll take its toll over the next couple of days, but we share everything that we do, we stick together as a side, we share the pain, we share the success, now and in the future,” the England captain added.
“I can’t fault anything we did with the ball today, we were exceptional, there was a tremendous amount of belief at the halfway stage that we’d put a score on the board and we were right in the game. But we let ourselves down tremendously with the bat. I thought we were terrible, probably 40 short on an 180-190 wicket. “But you can say what you like to Stokes at the moment, but he’s probably not hearing it.”
Morgan, though, was optimistic about his team’s chances in the near future. The southpaw said that England had all the talent which was needed to succeed and the upcoming days would be the start of something really special. “Regardless of what happened today, today was about letting ourselves go out and play with the freedom that we have trusted ourselves with all tour,” he said. “This is the beginning of something I am hoping will be special, we have a great amount of talent to work with and I hope we can keep this group of players together as long as we can and look for the future.”
“It takes some beating, definitely,” he added. “But I personally think we will come back. This side is at the very beginning of its progression, it’s actually frightening to think what we can do if we achieve our potential, but certainly tonight we share the pain,” Morgan concluded.