The 'forgotten-man' of England's full one-day squad, Ben Stokes, provided a timely reminder of his abilities in the ODI format, with a typically quick-fire knock of 151 not out from just 86 balls against South Africa A. The combative all-rounder bludgeoned his way to fifteen sixes during the match in all, with a staggering nine of those coming from the final fourteen legal deliveries that the Durham player faced.

The mammoth innings during the fourth unofficial international ODI match in Pretoria, helped the England Lions to a mighty 378-6 in their 50 overs against what is in effect South Africa's 'B' side (or Lions' equivalent).

Stokes' knock was made even more impressive by the fact that the bowling attack was of a decent standard, given that four of them have previously played for South Africa's full side in one-day internationals.

With Kevin Pietersen scoring heavily in recent one day matches abroad and Jason Roy scoring 141 in a previous Lions' ODI match against the same opposition, Stokes is another who has been left out of England's World Cup party, when there are many well-informed cricketing pundits who would rather he was plying his trade with the full England eleven in Australia and New Zealand. He also impressed during the recent Big Bash league and his bowling potential was evident in a more than useful 4-22 performance in the first one-day match against South Africa A.

Others will argue that Stokes has already had his chance to impress while with the full touring party, after being dropped from the squad during the ODI series against Sri Lanka last December. Stokes lasted only four matches of that seven match series before being jettisoned. Given the far from convincing performances Down Under in the recent tri-series, it remains to be seen if Stokes would have made much of a difference there or not, but he would have represented an interesting option to call upon. He may also be missed when England begin their World Cup campaign with their opening match against Australia in less than two weeks' time.