ENG vs SA: Ben Stokes hits first hundred since taking over as England Test captain
ENG vs SA: Ben Stokes scored 103 to help the hosts maintain their lead in the second Test against South Africa at Old Trafford as he reached his first century since being named England’s permanent captain.
The all-rounder reached three figures in an unorthodox way on Friday’s second day when a straight drive from Kagiso Rabada rebounded off the fast bowler’s shin to propel Stokes to a 158-ball hundred, featuring six fours and three sixes. Stokes was 98 not out at tea.
However, the left-handed batsman, who had dropped on 92, out shortly after when a leading edge off of Rabada sailed high to mid-off, where he expertly collected by the opposing captain, Dean Elgar, who was backpedaling.
Stokesy’s first century as Test captain 🙌
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 26, 2022
Following a 173-run partnership between Stokes and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, who was 68 not out at the time of his skipper’s demise, England were still in a strong position at 320-6, a lead of 169 runs.
The two had joined forces with England at 147-5, still behind the Proteas’ pitiful 151 in the first innings.
After losing the first Test at Lord’s by an innings and 12 runs—their first loss after a run of four straight victories led by captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum—England needed a partnership like theirs to even the score in this three-match series.
The 31-year-old Stokes’ well-paced innings on Friday, which was his 12th hundred in 85 Tests and fourth against South Africa, was also a triumph of essentially conventional batting despite all the hoopla of a new, aggressive “Bazball” style.