England all-rounder and arguably one of the biggest match-winners in modern-day cricket, Ben Stokes, exhibited his incredible class in the second Test against West Indies at Old Trafford in Manchester. His contribution from both bat and ball guided English team to level the three-match series 1-1 after facing a defeat in the series opener at Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
England set the target of 312 runs on Day 5 for Windies to win the second Test. Stokes, who smashed an inspirational knock of 176-runs in the first innings, rose to the occasion once again and slammed unbeaten 78 to take England’s lead past 300.
Stokes opened the second innings for England along with Jos Buttler, and he went on to record the fastest Test fifty for an English opener. The 29-year-old accomplished the feat in 36 balls. It was the first occasion in his career that Stokes had come out as an opener in the longest format of the game. Also, it was the first instance for England to have used four different openers in the same game since Ashes 1921.
The feat which fascinated one and all was that Stokes’ fastest fifty came in the same match where he had scored his slowest Test hundred. During the first innings, the Christchurch-born took 255 balls to reach his 10th triple-figure mark in Test cricket.
Apart from attracting fans with the performance from his willow, Stokes was equally good with the red-ball as he produced breakthroughs whenever hosts needed them the most. The southpaw bowled 13 overs in the first innings and bagged one wicket. Subsequently, he delivered 14.4 overs in the second innings and earned two scalps.
England were in trouble when Stokes walked out in the first innings as the hosts had lost three wickets for just 81 runs. However, then Stokes and Dom Sibley (120) added 260 for the 4th-wicket and helped England post 469/9d.
In the end, the Joe Root-led side managed to defeat the visitors by 113 runs. It was the 50th time when England had got the better of West Indies in Test cricket.
Wins for England against other teams:
- 110 vs Aus (351 Tests)
- 64 vs SA (153 Tests)
- 50 vs WI (159 Tests) *
- 48 vs NZ (105 Tests)
- 47 vs Ind (122 Tests)