England all-rounder Ben Stokes marked his return to cricket after a long injury layoff, striking an 18-ball 29 and taking one wicket, as his county side Durham defeated Birmingham Bears by 22 runs in the Vitality Blast T20 tournament here.
The 30-year-old Stokes had to pull out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) before its suspension after a fracture to his left index finger. He underwent a surgery for it.
This was Stokes’s first T20 Blast game in three years and sets him on the return path for a one-day international series against Pakistan which begins in Cardiff on July 8.
“It was awesome to have Ben Stokes out there. He brings great energy to the team. He loves putting on the Durham shirt. Clearly no matter what team he is playing for, he is passionate and committed to playing each game. Today was no different. Hopefully he can stick around for a little bit longer,” said Stokes’s Durham teammate Cameron Bancroft of Australia.