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Records tumble as Stokes, Bairstow send South Africa on a leather hunt

Records tumble as Stokes, Bairstow set South Africa on a leather-hunt
Ben Stokes (left) and Jonny Bairstow (right) shared a massive 399-run partnership for the sixth wicket.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England 629-6 declared (Stokes 258, Bairstow 150no) v
South Africa 141-2 (Amla 64no)
Second Test, Cape Town, day two

A record-breaking double hundred from Ben Stokes and a maiden century from Jonny Bairstow helped England post 629 runs in their first innings following which Hashim Amla's unbeaten fifty guided South Africa to 141 for two at stumps on day two of the second Test in Cape Town. 

England began the day on 317 for five and Stokes (258) got going with seven boundaries in the first three overs, soon completing his century in 105 balls.

Stokes was in no mood to settle down as he took the South African bowling attack apart. 74 runs came in the first 10 overs of the day.

Bairstow (150 not out) wasn’t far behind as he completed his fifty in 69 balls and the 150-run stand between Stokes and Bairstow came up in 148 balls.

There was no respite in sight for the South African bowlers as Stokes was bludgeoning every ordinary delivery.

With a six down the ground, Stokes brought up his 150 in just 135 deliveries which also brought up the 200-run stand in just 195 balls.

With a four and two sixes off Dane Piedt (0-112) Stokes brought up the highest score by an England batsman at number six.

Stokes smacked Morne Morkel (1-114) past mid-on to bring up the second fastest double hundred in Test cricket, getting there in 163 deliveries.

After adding 196 runs in the first session from 25 overs, England went into the lunch break placed at 513 for five.

Five overs into the second session, Bairstow completed his maiden Test century and in the first 10 overs of the session, England added 61 runs.

After reaching his 250 with a six over square leg, Bairstow went on to post the highest score by a number six in Test cricket.

A few moments later, Stokes attempted to hit another six but skied the ball which was dropped by AB de Villiers at mid-on. However, de Villiers displayed presence of mind to inflict a run out at the non-striker’s end as Stokes had not made his ground, ending his 198-ball knock.

In the same over, Bairstow reached his 150 and England declared immediately after scoring 629 runs losing six wickets from 125.5 overs.

Kagiso Rabada (3-175) had three wickets while Morkel and Chris Morris (1-150) had one each.

Just two overs into their first innings, South Africa were rattled with Stiaan van Zyl (4) running himself out after attempting a non-existent single.

Dean Elgar (44) was given out lbw but survived with a review showing an inside edge. Along with Amla (64 not out), Elgar took South Africa to tea with the score at 24 for one.

Elgar and Amla played positively in the final session and put on a 78-run stand in 22.2 overs. Six runs short of a well-deserved fifty, Elgar failed to negotiate a short ball from Stokes (1-20) and was caught at backward point by Nick Compton - the only wicket in the day that wasn't a run out.

De Villiers (25 not out) joined Amla and the duo adopted a cautious approach. De Villiers was dropped early in his innings by Joe Root at second slip.

With a flick to the mid-wicket fence, Amla brought up a much-needed half-century as he and de Villiers added an unbeaten stand of 56 runs for the third wicket to take South Africa safely through to stumps.

From the 43 overs they faced, South Africa scored 141 for two and were still trailing England by 488 runs at stumps on day two.

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