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Ben Stokes breaks the record for the highest individual England ODI score ever 

Stokes smashed 24 boundaries as he made history at the Oval on Wednesday

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Ben Stokes would have been forgiven for putting his feet up after an epic Ashes series, but that is not how this remarkable cricketer operates.

Not yet a week into his one-day resurrection, and amid murmurs about a top-order crisis ahead of the World Cup, he spanked New Zealand for 182 – the highest score by an England player in 782 one-day internationals stretching back 52 years.

With Dawid Malan contributing a high-class 96, England could accommodate a late collapse of six for 32 and still make 368. Thanks to a superb opening burst from Chris Woakes, New Zealand got nowhere near, bowled out for 187.

Victory at Lord’s on Friday will give England a 3-1 win – a flag in the turf before these sides meet again to kickstart the World Cup in Ahmedabad on October 5.

But when Stokes is in this mood, it may be better simply to enjoy the moment. And, having led England to an Ashes-squaring victory here in late July, he now gave a packed Oval its second treat of the summer.

When Trent Boult reduced England to 13 for two – including the wicket of Jonny Bairstow, caught at square leg from the game’s first ball – it was tempting to wonder whether the top order had chosen a bad moment to unravel.

Getty Images: Ben Stoke

Ben Stokes would have been forgiven for putting his feet up after an epic Ashes series, but that is not how this remarkable cricketer operates.

Not yet a week into his one-day resurrection, and amid murmurs about a top-order crisis ahead of the World Cup, he spanked New Zealand for 182 – the highest score by an England player in 782 one-day internationals stretching back 52 years.

There were 15 fours and nine sixes in 124 balls of mayhem, handshakes from the fielders, and a standing ovation. Above all, there was a sense – ominous for opponents – that Stokes is primed to help England defend their title in India. It is bizarre to think he had never previously passed 102.

With Dawid Malan contributing a high-class 96, England could accommodate a late collapse of six for 32 and still make 368. Thanks to a superb opening burst from Chris Woakes, New Zealand got nowhere near, bowled out for 187.

Victory at Lord’s on Friday will give England a 3-1 win – a flag in the turf before these sides meet again to kickstart the World Cup in Ahmedabad on October 5.

But when Stokes is in this mood, it may be better simply to enjoy the moment. And, having led England to an Ashes-squaring victory here in late July, he now gave a packed Oval its second treat of the summer.

When Trent Boult reduced England to 13 for two – including the wicket of Jonny Bairstow, caught at square leg from the game’s first ball – it was tempting to wonder whether the top order had chosen a bad moment to unravel.

Jason Roy’s plans for a first international appearance since March had already been ended by a back spasm. And because the World Cup 15 could be finalised as early as this weekend, he may yet make way for Harry Brook. England’s Indian itinerary is heavy on internal flights, and Roy’s bad back may be a risk they are unwilling to take.

Joe Root, meanwhile, had been bowled off the edge for four, leaving him with 10 runs in three innings and confirming the suspicion he has long been undercooked as a 50-over batsman. This was only his 18th ODI innings since England won the World Cup four years ago, in which time he has averaged 27, with a strike-rate of 78.

But Malan, playing only because Roy was incapacitated, and Stokes glossed over concerns in a thumping stand of 199, ended only when Boult insisted on a review after Malan offered the faintest of leg-side tickles.