Ben Stokes brilliance leads England beat South Africa to level the series

Picture Courtsey: Hindustan Times

Thanks to brilliance by Ben Stokes, England defeated South Africa by 189 runs on the fifth and final day of 2nd Test match played at Newlands, Cape Town on Tuesday. With this win, England earned 30 points in the ICC Test Championship.

Starting on the overnight score of 126 for 2, South Africa lost an early wicket of night watch men Keshav Maharaj with a beauty by James Anderson. Faf du Plessis and Pieter Malan looked solid with their defensive against Anderson, Dom Bess and other England bowlers. At the end of first drinks break, South Africa only lost 1 wicket.

With things looking good for South Africa, Faf du Plessis played a sweep shot and was caught by Joe Denly for 19. England took the 2nd new ball after the 80th over. Van der Dussen and Pieter Malan helped South Africa reach 170 for 4 at lunch.

In the 2nd session, Pieter Malan and Van der Dussen kept blocking against the England. Sam Curran provided the breakthrough for England dismissing Malan with a good low catch by Ben Stokes. Quinton de Kock came to the crease and kept his defensive technique against Joe Denly, Dom Bess and other England bowlers. Van der Dussen also did his to perfection. At the tea break, South Africa scored 225 for 5.

With 5 wickets remaining in the final session, Quinton de Kock reached his fifty off 103 and played a poor stroke of Joe Denly bowling. De Kock and Van der Dussen added 66 runs for the 6th wicket.  In the next over, Stuart Broad dismissed Van der Dussen to give England hopes of winning the match. Ben Stokes provided the spark by dismissing Dwaine Pretorius, Anrich Nortje in successive deliveries. With 6 overs left in the day, Stokes produced a beauty to get rid of Vernon Philander as England defeated South Africa by 189 runs to level the series.

It was a remarkable Test match which went right down the wire. Ben Stokes proved the difference with a quick fire 72 on the 4th day and got 3 important wickets to help England win a thrilling contest.

England 269 in 91.5 overs ( Ollie Pope 61*, Ben Stokes 47, Kagiso Rabada 3/68, Vernon Philander 2/46) and 391 for 8 in 111 overs ( Dom Sibley 133, Ben Stokes 72, Joe Root 61, Anrich Nortje 3/61, Rabada 2/69) beat South Africa 223 in 89 overs  (Dean Elgar 88, Van Der Dussen 68, James Anderson 5/40, Stuart Broad 2/36) and 248 in 137.4 overs ( Pieter Malan 84, Quinton de Kock 50, Elgar 34, Ben Stokes 3/35, James Anderson 2/23 , Joe Denly 2/42) by 189 runs.

Ben Stokes was awarded the man of the match for his all-round performance. The third Test match will be played from 16th January at Port Elizabeth


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