Stokes in disbelief after record-breaking England knock


Ben Stokes was left in disbelief by his record-breaking knock as England took control of the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

The tourists resumed on day two at Newlands on 317-5 and the all-rounder was in sensational form, reaching 200 off just 163 balls - the second fastest double-hundred in Test history - before being run out for 258, with England declaring on 629-6.

Stokes also surpassed Ian Botham's 220-ball England record for a double-century and set a new national milestone for sixes with 11 maximums in the innings.

The 24-year-old's previous best in Tests was 120 and he was still not able to take in the scale of his achievement when speaking soon after the close of Sunday's play, where the Proteas had been reduced to 141-2 in response.

"I can't really believe what I did. It hasn't sunk in yet. It was just one of them days. Everything went my way. I don't really know how to explain it," Stokes told Sky Sports.

"When I looked at the board, we had a lot runs and I thought we were in good position anyway. So I just tried to chance my arm because I thought me slogging one up in the air wouldn't hurt too much.

"I wasn't intentionally going to play like that last night, I just got myself in on a good wicket.

"It's nice when you get a flat wicket. You can hit through the line and you don't have to worry about your feet because I was just using my hands by the end of it. 

"[Captain Alastair Cook] sent a message out when we were on 600 saying: '630, or do you want to go for 300?'. I said it didn't matter because I was just trying to hit every ball for six."

Jonny Bairstow played a stellar supporting role, clocking up a maiden Test century as the pair put together a 399-run stand - the highest Test partnership for the sixth wicket or lower.

Stokes was quick to praise his team-mate for a brilliant display.

"People won't speak of Jonny's knock, but the way he played his natural game was amazing," he added.

"Jonny has worked really hard on how to play quick bowling. In the first Test he showed what form he is in. I'm buzzing for him. 

"I was conscious of getting out of the way when he got his first hundred. You want that 10 or 15 seconds all to yourself.

"I let him have his moment then told him how proud I was of him."