Stunning Stokes century helps Royals overcome Indians

Twitter: @rajasthanroyals

Ben Stokes plundered a glorious century to help Rajasthan Royals chase down Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League on Sunday. 

The England all-rounder was in imperious form in Abu Dhabi, hitting an unbeaten 107 off 60 balls to keep the Royals – who had started the day bottom of the table – in the play-off picture. 

Mumbai, who remain top, had the chance to seal a play-off spot of their own with a win and they put themselves in a commanding position with a total of 195-5. 

Hardik Pandya was the star of their innings, striking an unbeaten 60 off 21 balls. His knock, which included seven sixes and two fours, was the fourth-fastest of this season's IPL. 

Mumbai opener Ishan Kishan went for 37 in spectacular circumstances, with Stokes' England team-mate Jofra Archer taking an acrobatic one-handed catch by the boundary.

The Indians might have thought they had done enough to secure an eighth win in 11 games this season but Stokes and Sanju Samson had other ideas, the pair putting on a third-wicket stand of 152 from 82 balls to take the Royals home with 10 balls to spare 

Rajasthan move up to sixth in the table with 10 points from their 12 games, while the result condemns Chennai Super Kings, who had thumped Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier in the day, to elimination. 

STOKES FINALLY ARRIVES IN THIS SEASON'S IPL  

Stokes had struggled to make an impact in the IPL before his match-winning turn on Sunday, scoring just 110 runs off 103 balls in this season's competition. The 29-year-old said he felt in confident mood ahead of Sunday's game thanks to a positive training session a day earlier. 

"I'm a bit taken aback by why it's taken me so long to get into the tournament for the team," he said. "To be honest, the training I've had yesterday was the best I had throughout my time here, so I came into this with a bit of confidence. It was coming on nicely."

ARCHER PLAYS HIS PART

Archer set the stage for Stokes' heroics with a fine display in the field. His catch from Kishan was a thing of beauty, while he also removed Quinton de Kock and Saurabh Tiwary on six and 34 respectively.