ENG vs SA: Ton-up Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes add to South Africa’s agony in 2nd Test
ENG vs SA: The hosts took a commanding lead over South Africa in the second Test in Manchester on Friday as Ben Stokes scored his first century since being named England’s full-time captain and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes also reached three figures.
After South Africa was bowled for a pitiful 151 runs, England’s skipper declared the first innings on 415-9, a lead of 264 runs, with Stokes scoring 103 and Foakes scoring a Test-best 113 not out.
That left South Africa, who is now leading the World Test Championship, with a challenging nine overs to bat before the end of the second day at a sun-drenched Old Trafford.
However, the Proteas, who were leading this three-match series 1-0 after winning the first Test at Lord’s by an impressive innings and 12 runs, reached stumps on 23-0, a deficit of 241 runs.
Dean Elgar, the captain of South Africa, remained unbeaten at 11, while Sarel Erwee was still standing at 12.
Earlier, with England stumbling at 147-5 following a double strike by fast bowler Anrich Nortje. Stokes and Foakes had an outstanding partnership of 173.
South Africa almost had to bat first after winning the toss, but they were able to avoid that by bringing back Simon Harmer as a second spinner in the hopes that the Old Trafford pitch would offer more turn as the game progressed.
However, Essex’s off-spinner Harmer and slow left-armer Keshav Maharaj were only able to claim three wickets in the late order for a combined total of 151 runs in 45.4 overs.
On Friday, Foakes hit a full toss from Harmer’s opening delivery into the covers for four runs. Three balls later, Stokes swept him for six runs.
At lunchtime, left-handed batter Stokes, who was 34 not out. He finished a 101-ball fifty when he lofted Harmer for a six in grand fashion.
With a straight six off Maharaj, Stokes entered the eightys before Foakes finished off a solid fifty off 116 balls.
England had scored 288-5 off 80 overs when South Africa quickly seized the new ball. But Stokes immediately glanced the ensuing delivery from Lungi Ngidi for four.
On 92, a diving Aiden Markram at extra cover failed to hold what would have been a magnificent catch off a hard-hit drive. And the second delivery with the new ball nearly proved to be Stokes’ downfall.
When a straight drive from Kagiso Rabada deflected off the fast bowler’s shin to carry him to a 158-ball hundred, comprising six fours and three sixes, all-rounder Stokes, who was 98 not out at tea, reached three figures in an unexpected way.
But shortly after, he was struck by a leading edge from Rabada. That Elgar, who was backpedalling at mid-off, successfully caught.
However, England was still in a strong position at 320-6. Also having bounced back well in this game from a setback at Lord’s that was their first loss. Following a run of four straight victories under the new leadership team of captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.
The 31-year-old Stokes’ well-paced innings, which included his 12th hundred in 85 Tests. And fourth against South Africa, was also a success of essentially conventional batting. Despite all the hoopla of a new, aggressive “Bazball” approach.
When Nortje, a 29-year-old late cut fast bowler, hit for a tenth four in 206 balls faced. Foakes, who had already reached his second hundred in 16 Tests, compounded the Proteas’ problems.
All of this contrasted with the morning session. When Nortje, the Proteas’ standout bowler with 3-82 in 20 overs. They bowled out overnight batters Jonny Bairstow (49) and Zak Crawley (29) with two quick and crisp deliveries.
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