England batsman Ben Stokes had his first taste of the Indian Premier League when he featured for the Super Giant in an all-Maharashtra game against the Mumbai Indians, and impressed as the season carried on – to such an extent that he will be invited back next year and will be sought-after.
Later his opportunity with the bat came at a very important time during the chase of 184. He replaced Ajinkya Rahane at the crease and maintained the same tempo that the Indian opener was maintaining. He hit a pull first up and then blasted it through extra cover to get his second boundary. A hoick off Hardik Pandya in the 16th over got him into his twenties and he was all set to finish it early for the Super Giant.
But, Hardik, in that same over, found him wanting with a slower delivery as a thick inside edge of the bat carried the ball down the throat of the fielder at cow corner. It was nevertheless a crucial cameo in the context of the game.
Whilst cricket odds are available 24/7 at William Hill website, fans who backed Stokes to perform before the first match had even been started won out, with his end run-count far exceeding what was expected of him by the bookmakers.
Overall it was a good season for Stokes.