IPL: Ben Stokes dedicates unbeaten 107 for Rajasthan Royals to ill father

Ben Stokes
Stokes arrived late to the IPL after compassionate leave
Indian Premier League, Abu Dhabi
Mumbai Indians 195-5 (20 overs): H Pandya 60*; Archer 2-31
Rajasthan Royals 196-2 (18.2 overs): Stokes 107*, Samson 54*
Rajasthan Royals won by eight wickets
Scorecard; Table

England's Ben Stokes has dedicated his unbeaten 107 for the Rajasthan Royals to his father Ged, who is ill in New Zealand.

In August, Stokes senior revealed he had been diagnosed with brain cancer.

The England captain spent time with his family before travelling to play in the Indian Premier League.

"I take a bit of solace that back home, where things are a bit rough, hopefully that gives him a bit of happiness," said Stokes.

The all-rounder raised his bat and hand with a folded finger after the hundred as a gesture to his father, whose middle finger was amputated because of injuries received while playing and coaching rugby league.

Stokes' performance led the Royals to an eight-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians to keep their IPL hopes alive.

He shared 152 with Sanju Samson to get the Royals to their target of 196 with 10 balls to spare.

Jofra Archer earlier took a spectacular one-handed catch during Mumbai's 195-5.

The win lifts the Royals from bottom to fifth place in the eight-team table, two points off the play-off places.

They are level on 10 points with Kings XI Punjab and two behind the Eoin Morgan-led Kolkata Knight Riders, who occupy the fourth and final play-off spot.

Rajasthan's last two matches are against Kings XI and Kolkata, while Kings XI and Kolkata meet on Monday.

Stokes had previously struggled to make an impact in the competition and cut a frustrated figure in the Royals' defeat by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in their previous game.

"I had my best net yesterday and came into this game with more confidence," he added.

"I wish I could have played like this two or three games ago."

Opening the batting, he could have been caught at deep mid-wicket on 26, only for a diving Hardik Pandya to drop the chance.

He went on to complete a century from 59 balls with his third six, clubbed over mid-wicket off James Pattinson, one of the Australia bowlers punished by Stokes in his remarkable century in the third Ashes Test at Headingley in the summer of 2019.

From the next ball, he drove to the point boundary to complete the run chase, with Samson ending unbeaten 54 from 31 balls.

Earlier, England fast bowler Archer took a magnificent tumbling take on the third man boundary, falling backwards and holding the ball in one hand to dismiss Ishan Kishan.

Pandya smashed 60 not out from only 21 balls, including seven sixes, to lift Mumbai to their challenging total, only for Stokes to make light of the chase.

Mumbai's defeat leaves them tied on 14 points at the top of the table with the Delhi Capitals and the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who were earlier beaten by the Chennai Super Kings.

Sam Curran took three wickets for Chennai, who chased a target of 146 with eight balls spare to defeat a Bangalore side including Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali.

However, MS Dhoni's Super Kings, beaten finalists last year, can no longer finish in the top four after Rajasthan's victory.

Listen to BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary of selected IPL matches on the BBC Sport website and BBC Sounds.

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