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Stokes hundred powers England to 339 against Netherlands

England set a strong 339 runs target for Netherlands as Ben Stokes smashed his first World Cup hundred in the 40th match of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Wednesday.

Dawid Malan gave England an explosive start after they won the toss and opted to bat against Netherlands in the World Cup encounter. He along with Jonny Bairstow added 48 runs for the opening wicket, before Bairstow fell for 15 runs in 17 balls. Malan has completed his seventh half-century and was joined by Joe Root in the middle. Together they added 85 runs for the second wicket but England have since lost Malan, Root, Harry Brook, Joe Root, Moeen Ali in quick succession.

Ben Stokes, however, has remained firm in the middle and has completed a half-century. He has also stitched a crucial 100-plus stand with Chris Woakes for the seventh wicket.

England have made two changes as Mark Wood and Liam Livingstone sit out and are replaced by Harry Brook, and Gus Atkinson. Netherlands, on the other hand, make one change as Teja Nidamanuru comes in for Zulfiqar.

After enduring a string of defeats, Jos Buttler-led England will look to end their barren run. England are pitted at the bottom of the ten-team table, having won just one match out of the seven they’ve played so far. While the defending champions are already out of the semifinal race, they still have a lot to play.

With just two matches remaining, including the one against Netherlands, England will hope for consecutive wins and look to finish at least seventh in order to seek qualification for the ICC Champions Trophy, which is scheduled to be held in Pakistan in 2025.

Standing in front of Netherlands, who have won two matches in the tournament. They are placed one spot above England, and will hope to finish the tournament on a positive note. Netherlands had earlier stunned South Africa, and defeated Bangladesh by 87 wickets. After the clash against England, the Dutch unit will lock horns with India, which will be their final outing in the World Cup.