Fired-up Stokes reminds Broad of Flintoff with hostile Oval spell


Ben Stokes' hostile spell on the fourth evening of the third Test between England and South Africa prompted Stuart Broad to compare the all-rounder to Andrew Flintoff.

Stokes bowled superbly in the Proteas' second innings and was somewhat unfortunate to only pick up two wickets as the tourists closed on 117-4, having been set a huge target of 492.

England's vice-captain had struck with successive balls to reduce South Africa to 52-4, a wonderful yorker accounting for Quinton de Kock before Faf du Plessis fell lbw for a golden duck, padding up to a ball that would have gone on to hit the stumps.

"He bowled as quick as I've seen him bowl, I think," said Broad, who played alongside Flintoff for England towards the back end of the latter's international career.

"He was pumped up for that spell, there's no doubt about that. He had the wind behind him, his tail was up. Fielding at mid-off, it felt very quick and even the slips were pretty impressed by it. 

"It felt like one of those intimidating spells that Flintoff used to bowl, just heavy and at the batsman. It was a great little period for us to get two obviously key batsmen out in quick succession with genuine pace.

"It was an exciting session to be on the field [for] and when Stokesy gets that sort of momentum, it's great to see.

"He certainly dragged the team with him a little bit for that spell and hopefully he can have another spell for an hour tomorrow [Monday]."

Dean Elgar, dropped on nine by Keaton Jennings off James Anderson, dug in to reach 72 not out for South Africa, the opener's unbroken stand of 65 with Temba Bavuma keeping the Proteas' slim hopes of saving the match alive.

Broad remains confident England can complete victory on the final day to move 2-1 up in the four-match series.

"Ideally we'd have liked one more [wicket] tonight, but I think [in] that last hour South Africa batted really well," said the experienced fast bowler.

"Obviously you back yourselves to get six wickets in a Test match on a day-five pitch."