In the eye of storm, in the middle of the greatest game of cricket where he was the protagonist, just before the last ball of the match, before it went to Super Over, Ben Stokes was thinking about Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh wicketkeeper.
“Just before that last ball, all I was thinking of was Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup game (against India in 2016).”
Needing, few runs, Mushfiqur Rahim had opted for a big shot and was caught at the deep midwicket, and India went through to the semi-final. Stokes says he remembered that before the last ball at Lord’s.
“Don’t try to be a hero and try hit it for six. Try to get one run and take it to the Super Over. That was my process. Emotions were running high that time.”
He would get run out, attempting the second run, though. What was he thinking then? “I was pretty annoyed with myself. I had to switch my head back on and had to get the job done for my team (in the Super Over), he said on Tuesday (July 15) during the celebrations at The Oval.
“To be honest it has been an incredible feeling. It hasn’t sunk in yet. The feelings, yesterday and today, we will hold on to forever. We managed to win what we wanted to. We deserved to be in the final for all that we have done for the last four years. Obviously, we would have been devastated if we had not managed to win that trophy,” he said.
“That’s how professional sport is. You just have to flow with the emotions of winning games and losing games. We are going to enjoy these two days because we deserved it. When the time for The Ashes comes, we will put our head around and try and win that as well," added the English all-rounder.
Stokes top-scored in the epic battle, with 84 not out, and his crucial runs in the last over, including some overthrows luckily deflected off his bat, saw England reach a super over - where he batted with Jos Buttler to see Eoin Morgan's men win in incredible fashion.
With Indian Express, The Sun inputs
BDST: 1854 HRS, JUL 16, 2019