Stokes and Pope put dominant England in box seat – cricket

Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope each scored centuries as a dominant England took a agency grip on the third check in opposition to South Africa, declaring on 499 earlier than lowering the hosts to 60 runs for 2 wickets on the shut of the second day on Friday.

South Africa path by 439 runs and might want to bat for a lot of the weekend to remain in the competition and keep away from going 2-1 behind in the 4-check sequence.

Dean Elgar, 32 not out, and nightwatchman Anrich Nortje will return on Saturday, chasing down England’s first-innings rating of 499 for 9 declared, after spinner Dom Bess eliminated opener Pieter Malan (18) and Zubayr Hamza for 10 in fading mild and left South Africa in a dangerous place.

An unbeaten 135 from 22-year-previous Ollie Pope, his maiden check ton, and 120 from Ben Stokes helped England obtain the fourth highest check innings rating at Port Elizabeth, the oldest check venue in South Africa.

Pope displayed his potential as he got here in at 39 not out in a single day, sped to his 50, survived two scares earlier than attending to 100 and then put the South African bowlers to the sword.

He and Stokes put on 203 for the fifth wicket, whereas Pope additionally featured in a 59-run stand with Sam Curran and then a 73-run partnership for the ninth wicket in simply 52 balls with tail-ender Mark Wood.

Just two days after being named the world’s greatest cricketer, Stokes underlined his talismanic position for England with a usually flourishing century, earlier than being caught off the bowling of debutant Dane Paterson.

In the method, Stokes handed 4,000 runs to turn into solely the seventh check cricketer to achieve that determine and take 100 wickets, attaining the milestone in fewer checks than England nice Ian Botham.

England piled distress onto their hosts as 21-year-previous Curran bashed his solution to 44 off solely 50 balls and quantity 10 batsman Wood hit 5 sixes in a taunting 42 off simply 23 balls.

Keshav Maharaj took 5-180 in a marathon 58 overs after South Africa started the day with the demoralising information that high bowler Kagiso Rabada could be suspended for the final check of the sequence.

Rabada was given one other demerit level by the International Cricket Council for robustly celebrating the wicket of England captain Joe Root on Thursday.

The bowler, who has accrued 4 demerit factors in a 24-month interval, can’t play in the fourth check in Johannesburg, which begins on Jan. 24.

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