England captain Stokes passes coach McCullum to take all-time Test sixes record

By Sports Desk February 18, 2023

England captain Ben Stokes has overhauled coach Brendon McCullum's record for the most sixes in Test matches, reaching 109 against New Zealand on Saturday.

The all-rounder lifted back-to-back balls from New Zealand bowler Scott Kuggeleijn over the boundary to reach the figure on day three of the teams' first meeting in Mount Maunganui.

Stokes' efforts with the bat saw him pull clear outright of ex-Black Caps batter McCullum, who scored 107 sixes during an illustrious red-ball career.

Stokes achieved the feat in fewer games than his coach, reaching his new total in 90 Tests, compared to 101 for McCullum.

In a further quirk of coincidence, the pair have also scored the exact same number of Test centuries, with a dozen apiece, and have been dismissed for a duck on 14 occasions each.

The duo are also two of only three men's players to reach triple-figures when it comes to sixes in Test match cricket, alongside Australia's Adam Gilchrist, who has 100.

Stokes and McCullum have led a dramatic revival of England's Test fortunes since they took charge last year, leading them to nine wins in 10 Tests ahead of their New Zealand tour.

Ahead of a home Ashes series later this year, the pair have impressed once again in New Zealand, with the tourists holding a 330-run lead at the end of day three at the Bay Oval.

Stuart Broad's riotous 4-21 helped reduce the Black Caps to 63-5 at the close of play, with England having reached 374 all out after half-centuries from Joe Root, Ben Foakes and Harry Brook.

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    The Herons are two points clear at the summit of the East standings after snatching a 2-1 triumph over Philadelphia Union last time out.

    Yet Wilfried Nancy's Crew have triumphed in their last four road games in the league, battling to a 3-2 victory over New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on Friday.

    "It's a massive run and just shows how good we are mentally" Mohamed Farsi said of the streak.

    "I think we have more away wins right now than last year all season. I think so or the same, so I'm happy for that."

    Farsi has become a central figure for Columbus and scored the go-ahead goal in the 53rd minute against the Pigeons, much to the delight of head coach Nancy.

    "The idea for Mo is to be more consistent because he brings a lot of energy to the team," Nancy said.

    "He wants also to show himself that he's a better player than last year when we had the same deal here. Good for him.

    "Now, he knows that he has to work on certain things, but I'm happy for him. He's doing a good job."

    Despite missing Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Matis Rojas – all of whom are on Copa America duty – the nine-man Herons overcame the Union thanks to Leo Afonso's last-gasp strike.

    "It is clear that in 10 times, nine of these games we would end up losing," Miami head coach Gerardo Martino said.

    "Absolutely all the credit belongs to them. That has to do with the effort, with the character, with the guts that the boys had."

    Afonso echoed his coach's sentiment ahead of another crunch match-up.

    "It's difficult when you're missing the best players in history in their positions," he said. "But we got to keep working, and we got to try our best."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

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    Columbus Crew – Diego Rossi

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    With other Uruguayan colleagues at the Copa, Rossi will hope to extend his fine scoring form here.

    MATCH PREDICTION – DRAW

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    Martino will hope to continue a strong run of form with another victory, however.

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    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

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    Kylian Mbappe suffering a late head injury marred France's Euro 2024 victory over Austria as Didier Deschamps was left concerned about the Les Bleus star.

    The Real Madrid-bound attacker sustained a blow to his nose after an aerial challenge with Austria's Kevin Danso before Mbappe was withdrawn on Monday.

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    "[His] nose is not good at all," the France head coach, who hit 100 wins in charge of his country with the victory over Ralf Rangnick's side, told reporters.

    "Even if it's just the nose, it's the big negative point for us tonight."

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    Deschamps was still satisfied with Les Bleus' work, though acknowledged their failure in front of goal.

    "Happy with what the players did even if we missed opportunities to double the tally," he added. "It was not perfect but we were solid.

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  • Euro 2024 social round-up: Mbappe's broken nose, Neville's concern and the stars are out Euro 2024 social round-up: Mbappe's broken nose, Neville's concern and the stars are out

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    The stars are out

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    Expected broken bones (xBB)?

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