County news June 1, 2011

Ben Stokes faces injury lay-off

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Durham allrounder Ben Stokes will be out of action for six to eight weeks after dislocating a finger on Tuesday during his team's innings-and-125-run thrashing of Lancashire at Chester-le-Street.

Stokes, who turns 20 on Saturday, damaged his right index finger while attempting to take a catch that would have dismissed Paul Horton in Lancashire's second innings. X-rays revealed joint damage and a piece of bone fragment, and will require surgery to be pinned.

The injury brings an end to a season in which Stokes has blossomed as a cricketer. He made four hundreds, including a career-best 185 during a 331-run stand with Dale Benkenstein in the win over Lancashire. It bettered the 315 for the seventh wicket between Benkenstein and Ottis Gibson, against Yorkshire at Headingley in 2006, as Durham's highest partnership in the Championship.

In April, Stokes took 6 for 68 and scored a hundred that included five sixes in an over against Hampshire, and just over a month later, he registered his maiden limited-overs ton, cracking 150 not out against Warwickshire in the Clydesdale Bank 40. There had even been talk of Stokes being added to England's one-day squad this summer, but he now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

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