Stokes: I will probably never play like this again

Ben Stokes (Gallo Images)
Ben Stokes (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - England all-rounder Ben Stokes hit a thrilling double century as he and Jonny Bairstow battered the South African bowlers into submission on the second day of the second Test at Newlands on Sunday.

Stokes slammed 258 and Bairstow made 150 not out before England declared on 629 for six. The pair shared a world Test record sixth-wicket partnership of 399. Stokes' score was the highest by a number six batsman in Tests.

Stokes followed up by having South African opening batsman Dean Elgar caught at point as South Africa reached 141 for two at the close, still 488 runs behind.

"I felt we had a really good score on the board this morning so I thought, just keep on going the way I did last night," said Stokes.

"If I get out we still have Mo (Moeen Ali) and Broady (Stuart Broad) to come so we can probably still get to 450, 500 anyway. I just tried to keep on going."

The left-handed Stokes thrashed 30 fours and 11 sixes in a 197-ball innings. He reached his double century off 163 balls, the second fastest in Tests behind Nathan Astle's 153-ball effort for New Zealand against England at Christchurch in 2001/02.

He reached 250 with a six off Kagiso Rabada to become the fastest to the mark in Tests, beating Virender Sehwag's effort for India against Sri Lanka in Mumbai in 2009 by 11 balls.

With a declaration imminent, Stokes pounded the next delivery into the stands for another six before, in trying to hit a third, he skied the ball to AB de Villiers at mid-on. De Villiers dropped it but ran out Stokes with a direct hit to the bowler's end.

"I was backing him to take the catch. It was my fault. After he dropped the catch he wasn't going to miss the stumps," Stokes said, although he admitted it had been a dream innings, far surpassing his previous highest Test score of 120 against Australia at Perth two seasons ago.

"I will probably never play like this again in my life."

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