Stokes seeks first-innings parity with Proteas


England all-rounder Ben Stokes is confident the tourists can achieve parity with South Africa's first-innings score after bouncing back on day two of the fourth Test in Centurion.

Quinton de Kock's maiden century helped South Africa to a daunting 475 all out - Stokes taking 4-86 - before Alastair Cook and Joe Root guided England to 138-2 at stumps, still 337 behind.

With the series already sewn up for England following their win at the Wanderers, Stokes is hopeful Cook's men can take inspiration from that victory, which saw them skittle South Africa for 83 before chasing down their target of 74.

"It was a tricky situation for us after a long time in the field, you can lose a few quick wickets with tired bodies and tired minds," Stokes told the ECB.

"Rooty and Cooky have done a really good job for us so it's something to build on tomorrow.

"If we can get somewhere near their total, we know the way we bowled at Joburg, we bowled them out for 80. That'll be in the back of their minds so if we can get up to their total and maybe try and get a lead we might be in with a shout."

Cook reached stumps on 67 not out, 50 away from becoming the first Englishman to reach 10,000 Test runs, and Stokes was full of praise for his skipper as he approaches the milestone.

He added: "Ten thousand runs is a lot of runs and a lot more than I'll ever get!

"Cooky won't let that play on his mind, I don't think accolades are a big thing to him. To be that close to 10,000 is an amazing achievement and it's credit to his performances over his career so far.

"He's the leader of our team, he wants to lead by example and that's a massive thing for him."