England’s cricket team is in full control of the second Test match against South Africa at Old Trafford in Manchester. The hosts extended their lead to a massive 264 runs before declaring their innings closed on 415 for the loss of nine wickets thanks to centuries from Captain Ben Stokes and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.
At stumps the Proteas were 23 for no loss trailing by 241 runs.
England started the day in the pound seat on 111 for the loss of three wickets, trailing by just 40 runs. Fast bowler Anrich Nortje led the Proteas efforts with the ball in the first half of the morning session.
Overwhelming the batsmen with his pace, he was rewarded with two scalps of Johnny Bairstow for 49 and Zak Crawley for 38. That was all the tourists could get in the session as the two Bens – captain Stokes and keeper Foakes assumed control.
The pair shared in an unbeaten 65-run sixth wicket stand, taking England to lunch on 61 runs to the good on 212 for five.
Stokes and Foakes took the game away from the South Africans in the second session. Scoring with consummate ease, they extended their partnership to an epic 161 runs.
They both notched up half-centuries as the skipper was unbeaten on 98 and Foakes on 61 as England coasted to the tea-break on 308 for the loss of five wickets with a substantial lead of 157 runs.
Stokes went on to convert his 50 to a memorable century in only the second over after the interval, his 12th in Test cricket but his first as England’s captain. He was dismissed shortly after the milestone compliments of Kagiso Rabada for 103.
Stuart Broad looked to accelerate the scoring making 21 from just 14 deliveries before he was stumped off the bowling of Simon Harmer.
Foakes also went on to convert his half ton to a well compiled century, his second in Test cricket.
Stokes eventually declared their innings closed on 415 for nine when spinner Keshav Maharaj bowled Jack Leach for 11, leaving the home side firmly in charge with a lead of 264 runs.
The Proteas openers managed to safely navigate the nine overs they had to face before stumps and were 23 without loss at the close.