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Thu May 26 08:50:27 SAST 2016

Stokes batters South Africa in blistering double ton

REUTERS | 03 January, 2016 13:35
England's Stokes celebrates scoring a double century with Bairstow during the second cricket test match against South Africa in Cape Town
England's Ben Stokes celebrates scoring a double century with Jonny Bairstow during the second cricket test match against South Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, January 3, 2016.
Image by: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings / REUTERS

Ben Stokes scored the second fastest double century in tests and led a run feast on the second day of the second test against South Africa by battering the home attack to take England to 513 for five wickets at lunch.

Stokes (204 not out) and Jonny Bairstow, who was unbeaten on 95, bludgeoned a limp-looking home attack from the opening ball on Sunday, setting a new sixth-wicket record stand for England.

The pair took the overnight score from 317 for five in a remarkable session that produced 196 runs in two hours of devastating batting.

Stokes' double century came off 163 balls with 26 fours and seven sixes. New Zealand's Nathan Astle holds the record for the fastest double century in 153 balls while England's previous fastest was by Ian Botham who took 220 balls.

Stokes now holds the record score for an England number six, beating Graham Hick's 187 against India in 1993, and became the first English centurion at Newlands for 50 years.

He produced an array of astonishing boundaries, bringing up his 200 by pulling Morne Morkel for a four and leaving the home side looking dispirited in the field on another hot day in Cape Town.

England, already 1-0 up in the four-test series after winning the first test in Durban by 241 runs, went from 300 to 400 in 15 overs and 400 to 500 runs in just 11 overs.

The tourists began Sunday's play like they were playing a Twenty20 match with 45 runs in the first four overs as Stokes advanced from 74 not out overnight to his century and did not let up after that.

Bairstow brought up his 50 soon after -- his fourth in five innings against South Africa -- as the pair picked up the pace with 102 runs in the first hour's play.

The South African bowling attack, without injured Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, had their figures hammered with debutant Chris Morris going to lunch having conceded 141 runs for his single wicket.

Kagiso Rabada was 3-123 and spinner Dane Piedt 0-112. Lead bowler Morne Morkel's figures were 1-102.


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