Ben Stokes put on a show to remember at Newlands today, smashing the fastest double century for England and the second quickest in history on day two of the second Test against South Africa.
The Durham all-rounder resumed on 74 and raced to 200 in 163 balls, bettering Ian Botham’s 220-ball England record, as the tourists added 196 in 25 overs in a thrilling morning session in Cape Town.
Only New Zealand batsman Nathan Astle has reached the landmark from fewer balls, facing only 153 when he tore apart England in 2002. Here is the moment that Stokes brought up his 200…
Stokes also broke the record for most runs (130) in a pre-lunch Test session, fastest ever 250 in Test cricket, most sixes by an England batsman (11) and highest score by an England number six.
He was eventually out for 258 from 198 balls, run out by AB de Villiers after the South Africa talisman had dropped a steepler of a catch. He and Jonny Bairstow added 399 for the sixth wicket.
That is an all-time record partnership for the sixth wicket in Test cricket, and Bairstow brought up a milestone of his own by deservedly reaching three figures for the first time in the longest format.
The wicket-keeper was allowed to bludgeon his way to 150 before Alastair Cook declared with his side on 629-6. South Africa appeared a broken team and had to come out for a brief bat before tea.
It soon got worst for the Proteas as openers Stiaan van Zyl and Dean Elgar were involved in a mix-up between the wickets which resulted in the former being ran out by Nick Compton for four.
It was Stokes’s day and predictably he had an impact with the ball too, having Elgar caught by Compton for 44 after the first-Test centurion and Hashim Amla had steadied the ship from 7-1.
Under-pressure captain Amla battled his way to a first half-century in a year as South Africa closed on 133-2. De Villers was with him, unbeaten on 26. Both batsmen were dropped in the evening session.
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