All-rounder Ben Stokes slammed a match-winning century as England crushed New Zealand by 40 runs (D/L) to top their group at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Saturday. And by doing so, the Three Lions also became the only side to win all three matches in the group stage of the tournament.
Stokes came to the crease in the sixth over of the match when England were reeling at 35/3. However, Stokes and Morgan completely changed the momentum of the match with some fine hitting and intelligent play.
Stokes played the role of the aggressor as the both notched up their respective half-centuries to take England out of danger. The duo put on a massive 159-run stand for the fourth wicket to make a mockery of the chase.
Skipper Morgan was finally dismissed for 87 but Stokes kept on going and notched up his maiden Champions Trophy century in style. Stokes notched up his third ODI century off 109 deliveries, which included 13 fours and two huge six.
"I have a bit more confidence going into bat. Buttler and Morgan are a good influence. We just spoke about what the conditions were and we just wanted to take it by the ball. Hopefully I can keep it going forward. We just wanted to get on with the game, especially when we are batting well together," said Stokes after the end of the match.
Stokes also bowled 8 overs, in which he gave away 61 runs but picked up the prized wicket of Aaron Finch (68). Smith and Finch put on a 96-run stand for the second wicket before Stokes provided the timely breakthrough to the hosts.