Ben Stokes’ whirlwind century eclipsed Hardik Pandya’s six-hitting as Rajasthan Royals spiced up the IPL play-offs race with a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Stokes, who hit 14 fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 60-ball 107, found an able ally in Sanju Samson – 54 not out off 31 – as their unbroken 152-run partnership allowed Royals to make short work of the 196-run target. They cantered to victory with 10 balls to spare.Also Read - Ben Stokes Could Skip This Year's IPL: Report

But, in between all of this – did you notice Stokes’ unique celebration after reaching the three-digit score? The English cricketer paid tribute to his father, Ged, who’s suffering from brain cancer for the last 10 months or so. He folded his middle finger to dedicate his ton to his father. Also Read - Ashes 2021-22: Pat Cummins Lead Australia To 4-0 Series Win, Beat England By 146 Runs In Hobart Test

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His father also the reason why he could not join the Royals at the start of the season. Stokes had nor featured in the England versus Australia series as well as he had gone to Christchurch in New Zealand to be beside his dad.

Calling the moment ‘bittersweet’, Stokes said that he would have liked to have got into such form a little earlier in the season as now the side is not just relying on their performance to make the playoffs, but also the results of other franchises.

“Sort of bittersweet to be honest – it took so long to get one for the team. I would have preferred to get this form two or three games before when we weren’t relying on other results to get us through to the qualifiers. It’s always nice to get back to form. We needed a result from today, so – it’s a good victory. Training yesterday was the best I have had for the full time I have been here. Came into the game with a lot more confidence than the other games,” he said at the presentation when awarded the player of the match.