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Mayank Kumar ∙ Jun 19 2021, 5:37 PM | 2 Min Read

Vitality Blast 2021 | Ben Stokes set to return, Samit Patel earns special milestone

England star all-rounder Ben Stokes is all set to return to the cricketing action in a game for Durham against the Birmingham Bears in the ongoing edition of the Vitality Blast T20 tournament. 

Stokes was ruled out of the action in the early part of the Indian Premier League when he broke his hand while attempting to catch a ball fielding at long-on playing for the Rajasthan Royals.

He was ruled out of the remainder of the IPL and England coach Chris Silverwood had last month said that Stokes’ return will begin with the Vitality Blast tournament.

Meanwhile, Nottingham Outlaws all-rounder Samit Patel has registered his name in the record books of T20 cricket. He has become the first English cricketer to claim 200 wickets in T20 and 5000 runs in the format. He already had more than 5,000 runs in his career and took two wickets in the last game to go past the 250-wicket mark.

He reached the dual landmarks in the last game against Derbyshire where he put on an all-round performance to win his side an important game. He first scored a sublime half century with the bat to help Notts post a good total on the board and picked up two wickets with the ball to help them defend the score.

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Smriti Mandhana bats for more Test matches to help India Women mature at playing under pressure

India women’s team opener Smriti Mandhana was dismissed at the stroke of lunch on Day 3 of the one-off Test against England in Bristol while the visitors were following on in the second innings. The left-hander batsman has said that the slight pressure of staying unbeaten till the end of the day might have played the part. “Definitely, a slight pressure of ending the day ‘not out’, might have played a part (in the loss of wickets in a heap) and that will come with experience,” Mandhana said. “The more we play Test matches, the more we’ll get used to the conditions – one over before lunch or one over before the day’s end and all those sessions, so we can be more mature about (approaching them) and not take pressure,” she added. India had a brilliant start to the proceedings in the first innings after Mandhana and debutant Shafali Verma put up 167 runs for the first wicket in reply to England’s 396. But Verma just fell short of her maiden Test ton after she miscued a stroke off Kate Cross and was caught by Shrubsole for 96. Mandhan soon followed her for 78 and the left-handed batter’s dismissal saw a flurry of wickets. India were soon reduced to 197/8 to eventually get bowled out for 231. The home side enforced the follow-on later in the day. Ecclestone bagged four wickets for England. India on the other hand were 83/1 with Verma scoring yet another half-century when stumps were called.