Ben Stokes hits fastest Test 250 to put England in control against SA

Ben Stokes scores fastest 250 in Test history (196 balls) as England declare at a massive 629-6; South Africa 141-2 at stumps

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 yesterday.

England's Ben Stokes celebrates his double century against South Africa in Cape Town yesterday. Pic/AFP
England's Ben Stokes celebrates his double century against South Africa in Cape Town yesterday. Pic/AFP

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.

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.

Relentless assault
The South African bowlers had no answer to a relentless assault, which started with 45 runs scored off the first four overs of the day, bowled by Morne Morkel and
Chris Morris.

The left-handed Stokes needed only 12 balls go from his overnight 74 to his third Test century, which he made off 105 deliveries with 16 fours and a six. He quickly went past his previous highest Test score, 120 against Australia at Perth two seasons ago.

Number of balls taken by Ben Stokes to score his double century - the second fastest 200 in Tests

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