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New Zealand v England: Ben Stokes return ends in defeat

Ben Stokes played six matches for Canterbury in New Zealand domestic cricket in December

Ben Stokes made 12 and took two wickets but his first England match since September ended in a three-wicket one-day defeat by New Zealand in Hamilton.

Ross Taylor and Tom Latham (79) put on 178 as the Kiwis recovered from 27-3.

Taylor made 113 and Mitchell Santner (45) hit a six to win the opening ODI for the hosts with four balls left.

England’s Joe Root made 71 in 75 balls after being rested for the Twenty20 tri-series, while Jos Buttler (79) struck five sixes in a total of 284-8.

All-rounder Stokes was in court this month on a charge of affray and the first hearing of his trial is scheduled for 12 March at Bristol Crown Court, although he is not required to return to the UK to attend it.

He missed the Ashes series – which hosts Australia won 4-0 – the 4-1 one-day international series win over the Australians and the T20 tri-series also involving New Zealand, in which England failed to qualify for the final.

The next game in the five-match series takes place at Mount Maunganui on Wednesday.

How did Stokes fare on his comeback?

The slow wicket in Hamilton was not conducive to shot-making during the England innings and Stokes came in at number five with the score at 104-3 in the 22nd over.

He was dropped on two when Trent Boult could not clasp a firmly struck straight drive in his follow-through, but after one reverse-swept four, Stokes succumbed to a sweep at slow left-armer Santner, which took the top edge and looped to Taylor running to his right at third man.

In the field, the Durham player was brought on as second change to bowl the 13th over and his opening four-over spell returned 0-15.

By then, he had already played a part in the dismissal of Martin Guptill, the top run-scorer in the T20 tri-series, taking a neat catch above his head in the covers.

With New Zealand looking comfortable, Stokes tempted Latham into a pull that was smartly taken at mid-on and he soon added the scalp of Colin de Grandhomme with an extravagant looping slower ball that was edged to the keeper.

Eoin Morgan chose not to bowl him after the 44th over and he finished with 2-43 from eight overs.

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