Red-hot Ben Stokes smashes 64-ball century for Durham in first innings as England Test captain

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Red-hot Ben Stokes smashes 64-ball century for Durham in first innings as England Test captain
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In his first innings since being appointed England’s Test captain, Ben Stokes smashed five successive sixes to reach an extraordinary 64-ball century.

Stokes, from No6, was not required on the opening day of Durham’s meeting with Worcestershire at New Road.

But the early dismissal of Scott Borthwick, a close friend of Stokes’, brought the new England skipper to the crease.

Alongside Durham’s second centurion of the innings (Sean Dickson made one on day one), David Bedingham, Stokes played himself in before exploding after bringing up a 47-ball fifty.

His second fifty took just 17 deliveries, and his century was Durham’s fastest in first-class history.

He hit the first five balls of 18-year-old left-arm spinner Josh Baker for six to reach his century, but could only manage a four off the final ball of the over.

By lunch, Stokes had flayed five more sixes to sit 147 from 82 balls, with Durham 548 for four.

This was the second time Stokes had hit five successive sixes in a Championship match (he first did so 11 years ago against Hampshire). Just two other men have hit five straight sixes, with Arthur Wellard also doing it twice.

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