Stokes thriving on WT20 pressure


Ben Stokes is thriving on the pressure of performing on the big stage and the all-rounder is determined to silence unfancied England's critics by winning the World Twenty20.

Stokes showed his class in all facets of the game in England's dramatic victory over Sri Lanka on Saturday which sealed their place in the semi-finals.

The 24-year-old hit the only ball he faced for six, then ran out Lahiru Thirimanne and held a high ball in the deep before bowling a tight final over to record impressive figures of 0-19 from four voers as Sri Lanka were beaten by 10 runs in Delhi.

Stokes can now look forward to coming up against New Zealand, his country of birth, at the semi-final stage on Wednesday.

He said: "I was pleased with my overall game [against Sri Lanka], I said afterwards that I'd much rather be doing that last-over thing than watching and hoping whoever bowl it gets us through.

"I'd rather be the man doing it, it's a lot easier on the nerves. It sounds silly to say when you're the person doing it, but I'm not very good watching in tight situations like that.

"I just love being involved in the game and the high-pressure situations, and it probably brings the best out of me. Hopefully we don't get it down that tight again, especially after the start we got. But I enjoy getting put into the big moments in games.

"Twenty20 is generally the fun side of cricket. You've also got to have a sense of humour. Some days you can turn up and get whacked. Next game, you turn up, bowl the same and don't go for many runs.

"It's been enjoyable, and obviously it's a massive help when you're winning and you get through to the semis."

England batting and fielding coach Paul Collingwood lifted the World T20 trophy in 2010 and Stokes hopes to emulate that feat six years on.

Stokes said: "It would be nice to win another trophy. Obviously, we've only won the one ICC event. Colly did say at the start of the tournament when we were beaten by West Indies that getting beaten by them was a good omen because it happened to him.

"If we can keep following like that and eventually be the winners, that would be amazing. I think we're one of the least experienced teams out here. We weren't one of the favourites going in. It would be proving a lot of people wrong."