Ben Stokes may have produced a stunning century in the Indian Premier League on Sunday night but it was another Englishman who got tongues wagging with a spectacular one-handed catch.
Archer’s catch left the commentators in awe, with Ian Bishop stating: “Only a West Indian could do that! Great athleticism.”
Despite the remarkable catch, Mumbai still managed to mount an excellent score of 5-195 in Abu Dhabi, but Stokes led the chase as Rajasthan Royals claimed an important eight-wicket win against the leaders to keep their play-offs hopes alive.
Stokes, who missed the start of the IPL season to be with his family in New Zealand, scored an unbeaten 107no from 60 balls, including 14 fours and three sixes.
The English all-rounder received good support from Sanju Samson, who made 54no from 31 balls, to ease to the target with 10 balls to spare.
“It’s sort of bittersweet to be honest,” Stokes said. “I’m a bit taken aback by why it’s taken me so long to get into the tournament for the team.
“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.
“The harder shot to play was when they dug into the wicket and we scored off Bumrah probably a lot freer than we thought we’d be able to.
Stokes dedicated the knock, making a gesture with his fingers upon his century, to his ailing father Ged who is battling cancer in New Zealand.
“Things are a bit difficult right now, but hope this has given a bit of happiness back home,” Stokes said.
Losing Mumbai skipper Kieron Pollard wasn’t too deterred by the defeat, remaining optimistic they can finish top of the table and win play-offs matches.
“It really doesn’t do much to the campaign, we still have three games to do,” Pollard said.
“We just have to come out with good cricket. Our bowlers tried but it wasn’t meant to be today.”
Meanwhile on Sunday, bottom side Chennai Super Kings claimed their fourth win of the season, denting third-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore’s play-offs hopes in the process with an eight-wicket win.