The year 2019 belonged to Ben Stokes, and he’s continuing the momentum in 2020 as well. Five catches, a quick-fire 72 and three wickets, in the end, that’s enough to take the team to the victory, and Stokes did precisely that.
South Africa would be disappointed after dragging the game to the very deep. Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock must be shaking their heads with the way both got out.
Even after De Kock’s dismissal, the tailenders didn’t lose hope and they kept on going, but one wrong move from Vernon Philander somehow opened the doors of Stokes domination.
Philander, who was defending well, denied the single on the last ball of the 133rd over, and that led Dwaine Pretorius to face Stokes in the next over, who was breathing fire.
Stokes was getting the reverse swing, and he made full use of it. He pitched a short of a good length and the ball angled in, forcing Pretorius to play it. A slightly open face carried the edge to Joe Root at first slip. It flew low, and the English skipper did an excellent job of completing the catch.
England’s all-rounder didn’t stop here as he removed the new batman Anrich Nortje right after the dismissal of Pretorius. Similar delivery and it produced the same result, only this time, the edge went above Zak Crawley who was positioned at third slip.
Crawley put his left hand to grab the opportunity, but it fumbled; however, he caught it at the end with his right hand. Stokes was on a hat-trick at that time, and England were entirely back in the game with only a wicket away.
During the 138th over, Stokes again produced magic. A back of a length delivery went quickly towards Philander, it ticked the glove and went straight to Ollie Pope at fifth slip. That was it, England won the second Test by 189 runs. It was a special moment as after a span of 63 years; an English team was able to taste victory at Cape Town.
⭐ 119 runs, including a quick-fire 72
⭐ 6 catches
⭐ 3 wickets
— ICC (@ICC) January 7, 2020
The outstanding match has also stunned the ones who were pushing for a 4-day Test concept.