Ben Stokes © Getty Images
Ben Stokes was dropped by England after four of seven ODIs in Sri Lanka recently © Getty Images

Ben Stokes, controversially omitted from the England World Cup squad, struck 15 sixes during an unbeaten 151 to help England Lions defeat South Africa A Monday in a one-day match. Batting at number five, Stokes also hit seven fours off 86 balls during 117 minutes at the crease as the visitors triumphed by 89 runs.

Bowlers who suffered during Stokes’ surge included former senior South African internationals Marchant de Lange (0 for 81) and Mthokozisi Shezi (0 for 74). England Lions made 378 for six in 50 overs and the South Africans were all out for 289 in 42.5 overs at Mamelodi Oval in a Pretoria township.

Stokes was dropped by England after four of seven One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in Sri Lanka two months ago due to a poor all-round game, particularly his bowling. But former England stars Ian Botham, Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood have criticised his exclusion from the squad for the World Cup, which begins in Australia and New Zealand this month.