County Championship round-up: Ben Stokes hits 64-ball century for Durham and five sixes in one over

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England's newly-appointed captain seemed unaffected by the new pressure placed on his shoulders on Friday afternoon. Ben Stokes announced he'd be batting sixth for England earlier this week and he entered the fray at New Road with Durham on 360-4. The 30-year-old started brightly, and after reaching his half-century in just 47 balls it was clear the left-hander was in the mood. But Stokes rounded off his century with another 50 in just 17 more deliveries, with Worcestershire's youngster Josh Baker punished relentlessly by the England veteran.

Baker's 20th over was particularly agonising, with his first five deliveries all thumped over the boundary rope by Stokes. With the fifth helping Stokes to a three-figure total, the new England captain found himself chasing another accolade in the very next ball - Sir Garfield Sobers is the only batter in championship history to have hit six sixes in an over, achieving the feat in 1968 for Nottinghamshire. But Stokes was 'only' able to hit a four in his final ball, leaving him frustratedly hitting his pads with his bat. Baker was taken away from the firing line afterwards, but it hardly slowed Stokes' assault, with the Durham batsman going on to reach 147 not out by lunch, leaving Durham on a mighty 549-4.

Lunch-time scores:

Division one

Chelmsford: Essex 321-4 vs Yorkshire

The Rose Bowl: Hampshire 342 vs Gloucestershire 31-3 Old Trafford: Lancashire 18-0 vs Warwickshire 315

The Oval: Surrey 401 [all out] vs Northants

Division two

Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 58-2 vs Leicestershire 320

Hove: Sussex 392 vs Middlesex 44-2

The article County Championship round-up: Ben Stokes hits 64-ball century for Durham and five sixes in one over appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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