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Ben Stokes smashes record-breaking 17 sixes on return to County Championship

Ben Stokes marked his first first-class innings since being appointed England captain with a breathtaking innings of 161 from 88 balls for Durham against Worcestershire at New Road, including five sixes in an over, and 17 all told – a new record for county cricket. Here’s how ESPNcricinfo recorded his return to action.

98.6
Gibbon to Stokes, FOUR, full face of the bat, punched clean through the covers to open Stokes’ account

101.2
Leach to Stokes, FOUR, round the wicket, outside off, and bludgeoned hard and straight, almost through Leach’s outstretched right hand as Stokes heaves through the length ball

107.1
Barnard to Stokes, SIX, that’s just dismissively huge! A stand-and-deliver swing through the line, pinging out of the screws high over wide long-on

107.2
Barnard to Stokes, FOUR, back of a length, on the pads, flicked up and over square leg

108.1
Finch to Stokes, SIX, a stride to meet the length ball outside off, and monstered high over long-off! I think he’s got his eye in now…

109.1
Barnard to Stokes, SIX, leg-sided, and that’s flat and violent, picked up with murderous power off the pads, clean through wide long-on!

111.2
Barnard to Stokes, FOUR, outside off, and panned through the covers, not until that winning stroke at Headingley, a full unleashing of the levers through the wide line

111.3
Barnard to Stokes, (no ball) FOUR, two in two balls, back of a length from round the wicket, and dispatched through midwicket with a powerful swing

112.1
Finch to Stokes, SIX, kneels into a lofted drive, inside-out, and high and mighty over extra cover!

113.2
Leach to Stokes, FOUR, too much width, walloped with a free swing of the blade through the covers

115.4
Leach to Stokes, SIX, sits back in the crease, picks up the not-terribly-short length, and piledrives it over long-on once more!

116.1
Baker to Stokes, SIX, blasted back over the bowler’s head, clearing the front dog and it clangs off the seating!

116.2
Baker to Stokes, SIX, round the wicket, into Stokes’ arc on the pads, and hoisted over deep midwicket!

116.3
Baker to Stokes, SIX, improvises as Baker fires it in flatter outside off, and launches down the ground over long-off

116.4
Baker to Stokes, SIX, pongoed over the ropes once more… now this is getting interesting…

116.5
Baker to Stokes, SIX, leans back, and battered violently over long-on, and Stokes reaches his hundred, though that’s not the story of this over…

116.6
Baker to Stokes, FOUR, round the wicket… hacked down the ground… but it’s only a four! It travelled hard and flat, but Stokes thumps his pad in annoyance!

117.5
Leach to Stokes, SIX, pirouettes into a pull, down the track, almost pulling himself off his feet in the process! Another six, through midwicket

117.6
Leach to Stokes, SIX, splatted over wide long-on, a fuller length into the pads, and deposited with disdain! Seven sixes and a four in eight balls!

119.5
Leach to Stokes, SIX, banged in short, and Stokes swings into another lusty pull! It’s a brave effort on the edge of the rope at square leg, but the ball plops into the pile of covers behind the rope!

119.6
Leach to Stokes, SIX, mashed high and hard down the ground! A golf swing through the line, and bouncing back off the sightscreen!

121.1
Gibbon to Stokes, SIX, bludgeoned off a good length, across the line and high over deep midwicket! One more to equal Symonds’ sixes record

122.1
Barnard to Stokes, FOUR, gallops down the track, another dismissive battering through the covers, and Stokes is a blow away from 150 before lunch!

123.1
Gibbon to Stokes, SIX, smashes the first ball back over the bowler’s head! Sixteen sixes equals the record held by Symonds and Napier, and brings up his 150.

124.6
D’Oliveira to Stokes, SIX, massive! Unfurls the levers, out of the blockhole, high over the bowler’s head, and that’s the record! 17 sixes in a county innings!

126.5
D’Oliveira to Stokes, OUT, another massive hack to the leg side, but this time he can’t connect perfectly, and the fun is over! A stunning display from England’s new captain ends with a well-judged take from Haynes, two metres in from the rope

BA Stokes c Haynes b D’Oliveira 161 (126m 88b 8×4 17×6) SR: 182.95

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