Alex Hales cleared to play for England, Ben Stokes has to wait

Ashes exile Ben Stokes fails with bat for Canterbury

Suspended England star Ben Stokes's highly anticipated return to the crease was over nearly as soon as it began in New Zealand today.

Stokes remains banned from global duty while the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decide whether or not he will be charged, although the 26-year-old is free to play domestic cricket.

Absent from England's Ashes series against Australia while police investigate the circumstances surrounding his arrest on September 25 in Bristol, all-rounder Stokes struggled with the bat and ball on Sunday.

The Crown Prosecution Service have been handed Stokes's case by Somerset and Avon Police.

Opening the bowling, he claimed 0-49 off nine overs as Otago won by three wickets in Rangiora.

Stokes scored two with a pull before he was bowled via an inside edge playing back to slow left-armer Anaru Kitchen at the Mainpower Oval.

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In Whangarei, Test wicketkeeper Watling, out of the Test side because of a hip injury, scored 115 off 132 balls for Northern Districts as they beat Wellington by five wickets with just one ball to spare.

"I think if anything he tried too hard".

However, Canterbury Cricket's director of cricket Gary Stead expected Stokes to be better in the next match away to Auckland on Wednesday. It was expected he was going to be a little bit rusty.

Stokes, who broke a finger in the incident, was released under investigation.

The England and Wales Cricket Board on Monday cleared opener Alex Hales for England selection but allrounder Ben Stokes remained "unavailable".

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