Stokes, Bairstow tear apart South African bowlers

Cape Town, January 3

England all-rounder Ben Stokes hit a thrilling double century as he and Jonny Bairstow battered the South African bowlers into submission on the second day of the second Test at Newlands on Sunday.


Stokes slammed 258 and Bairstow made 150 not out before England declared on 629-6. The pair shared a world Test record sixth wicket partnership of 399. Stokes’ score was the highest by a No 6 batsman in Tests.

Stokes followed up by having South African opening batsman Dean Elgar caught at point as South Africa reached 141-2 at the close, still 488 runs behind.

The left-handed Stokes thrashed 30 fours and 11 sixes in a 197-ball innings.

He reached his double century off 163 balls, the second fastest in Tests behind Nathan Astle’s 153-ball effort for New Zealand against England at Christchurch in 2001/02.

He reached 250 with a six off Kagiso Rabada to become the fastest to the mark in Tests, beating Virender Sehwag’s effort for India against Sri Lanka in Mumbai in 2009 by 11 balls.

With a declaration imminent, Stokes pounded the next delivery into the stands for another six before, in trying to hit a third, he skied the ball to AB de Villiers at mid-on. De Villiers dropped it but ran out Stokes with a direct hit to the bowler’s end.

The South African bowlers had no answer to a relentless assault, which started with 45 runs scored off the first four overs of the day, bowled by Morne Morkel and Chris Morris.

The left-handed Stokes needed only 12 balls go from his overnight 74 to his third Test century, which he made off 105 deliveries with 16 fours and a six.

He quickly went past his previous highest Test score, 120 against Australia at Perth two seasons ago.

South African captain Hashim Amla was soon forced to place fielders on the boundary on both sides of the wicket but Stokes continued to power the ball past them.