John Hastings has tipped Ben Stokes for an England recall (photo: getty images)
Overseas star John Hastings has hailed the "world class" quality of Durham and England all-rounder Ben Stokes.
Stokes returned career-best match figures of 10-121 in the LV=County Championship victory over Sussex, a result that lifted Durham up to fourth in the table.
A 14-over spell spanning lunch on day two was particularly eye-catching, as the 23 year old ripped through the visitors' batting line-up.
The defending champions then eased to a 309 run win early on the final day.
"Those couple of spells that he bowled were absolutely world class" Hastings told durhamccc.co.uk
"Hats off to him. I don't think we'll be having him in our side coming up as I think he'll be back in the England colours, which I hope he is"
"Being on the field with him, it just looks like he was fighting for a bit of rhythm in the first couple of games that I saw"
"But I think his rhythm has come through and now he's absolutely flying"
Stokes also chipped in with a typically bullish 31 from just 25 balls against Sussex, as Durham set up a declaration.
The south coast outfit were then bowled out for 182 in their second innings, partly thanks to a four wicket return from Hastings.
After a frustrating spell in the IPL with Chennai Super Kings, the 28 year old is throughly enjoying his time in the North East.
"Yeah, loving it at the moment" said Hastings, who hit a half-century in Durham's first innings.
"It's good to play some cricket, it's also good to be here as well - it's a great part of the world"
"It's taken me a little while to adapt these few weeks so hopefully I can keep continuing to improve, and I feel like I'm getting there"
Hastings and his team are now targeting an upturn in fortunes in the shortest form of the game.
Three straight defeats in the NatWest T20 Blast competition have diminished the Durham Jets' chances of reaching finals day on August 23rd.
But four games in a week will give the side a chance to reverse their recent run of form, starting with a trip to Northampton on Friday.
"We've got four games coming up that are pretty important" said the Australian International.
"We've got a game in hand on the competition, so if we can get a couple of wins in this little block here I think that'll keep the dream alive and hopefully get to finals day"
"There's been some really close games and hopefully these next couple of games we can get on the end of a couple of good wins"