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Day 2 of the second test match between England and South Africa: The Ton-up South Africa’s woes have been compounded by Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes

Day 2 of the second Test between England and South Africa ended with England holding a 241-run lead after centuries from Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes.

England took a commanding lead over South Africa in the second Test in Manchester on Friday as Ben Stokes scored his first century as full-time captain and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes also reached three figures.

After South Africa was bowled out for a paltry 151, England’s captain declared the first innings over with a lead of 264 runs, thanks in large part to the efforts of Stokes (103 runs) and Foakes (Test-best 113 not out). In the bright afternoon light at Old Trafford on day two, the leaders of the World Test Championship, South Africa, faced a challenging nine overs.

But the Proteas were 23-0 at stumps, still behind by 241 runs with a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after winning the first Test by 12 runs at Lord’s.

South African captain Dean Elgar was on 11, and Sarel Erwee was not out after 12 not outs.

England’s overnight batters, Jonny Bairstow (49), and opener Zak Crawley, were both bowled by express fast bowler Anrich Nortje, leaving the team at 147-5 before Stokes and Foakes joined forces and posted a 173-run partnership (38).


After scoring his second century in as many Test matches (after scoring 107 on debut against Sri Lanka in Galle in November 2018) and his first at home, Foakes told Sky Sports, “I was ecstatic earning a Test hundred.”

“When you go through a tough patch, it makes it even more special,” said the 29-year-old Surrey gloveman, whose England career has been disrupted by injuries and, more recently, a case with Covid-19.

There was a lot of difficulty out there because of their excellent bowling attack, and it is not surprising that this is the case.

For some reason, Elgar only employed Nortje for nine overs in the first two sessions on Friday, despite the fact that he was the best bowler in the Proteas’ lineup (with figures of 3-82 in 20 overs).

Nortje told reporters, “Dean had a plan according to what the situation informed him.”

“Who bowled when can’t be discussed at length. They batted well on what was a favourable batting surface.”

South Africa had almost been forced to bat first after winning the toss because they had recalled Simon Harmer as a second spinner to their assault in the hopes that the ground at Old Trafford would offer more turn as the game progressed.

Although Harmer was a regular wicket-taker for the Essex county side, he and slow left-armer Keshav Maharaj were only able to capture three late-order scalps for a total of 151 runs in 45.4 overs.

On Friday, Foakes hit a full toss from Harmer for four, and three balls later, Stokes swept him for six.

By hitting a six straight at Maharaj, left-handed hitter Stokes climbed into the 80s.

After 80 overs, England was 288-5, and South Africa sent in the new ball without wasting any time. On the very next delivery, Stokes flicked Lungi Ngidi’s ball over the keeper for four.

Nonetheless, on 92, Stokes was almost undone by the new ball when a diving Aiden Markram at extra cover dropped what would have been a sensational catch off a hard-hit drive.

At tea, all-rounder Stokes was 98 not out; he reached three figures in an unexpected way, when a straight drive from fast bowler Kagiso Rabada bounced off the batsman’s shin. Stokes hit a total of 158 balls, including six fours and three sixes, on his way to his century.

But shortly after that, he was out when Elgar at mid-off caught a leading edge off Rabada.

After four straight wins under the new leadership tandem of Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, England suffered their first setback at Lord’s. Despite this, they bounced back brilliantly in this match and are now 320-6.

Although the 31-year-old Stokes batted aggressively in the new “Bazball” fashion, his well-paced innings, which included his 12th hundred in 85 Tests and fourth against South Africa, was a triumph of essentially orthodox batting.

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