New Delhi - Rising Pune Supergiant's record-breaking investment in Ben Stokes has
paid dividends, with the England allrounder delivering a blistering
maiden Twenty20 century to secure his Indian Premier League team a
Stokes - whose $2.16 million contract broke the
IPL signing record for a foreign player - hit an unbeaten 63-ball 103
during the Supergiant's five-wicket win over the Gujarat Lions on
"He's done a terrific job for us. We paid a big amount to
get him. We know he's a quality player. (He) certainly earned his cash
tonight," Supergiant captain Steve Smith said of their star performer
after the win.
The left-handed batsman, who came into bat with
Pune precariously placed at 10 for three, put on a 76-run fifth-wicket
partnership with Mahendra Singh Dhoni who made 26.
Supergiant chased down their 162-run target with a ball to spare to keep in the top half of the league's eight-team ranking.
who has won three man-of-the-match awards in eight IPL matches this
season, smashed seven fours and six sixes in front of a raucous home
"All-rounders are so valuable in T20 cricket and he bats,
bowls and fields well. He's a perfect fit for our team, particularly
after Mitchell Marsh was ruled out as well," said Smith.
"We were very excited to get him. I had said before the auction to the guys (owners) just do what you have to get him."
another match Monday a star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore, led by
India captain Virat Kohli, became the first team to crash out of the
play-off race after suffering a five-wicket loss to Mumbai Indians.