England all-rounder Ben Stokes came to the party when his team needed the most. Stokes made 47 and 72 in the two innings of the Test match and was named Man of the Match thanks to his contribution with the ball as well. This victory over South Africa made England the first team other than Australia to win a Test in Cape Town.
Though Dean Elgar and Pieter Malan tried their best in two innings of the match for the host side, England bowlers proved to be decisive given that none of the other Proteas batsmen managed to support their openers in quest of putting up a fighting total in both innings. Rassie van der Dussen and Quinton de Kock hit half-centuries, while Elgar (88) and Malan (84) starred with the bat. However, even they couldn’t get past the brilliance of Stokes.
‘I always had my dad in the back of my mind’: Ben Stokes
However, the Stokes family was met with a problem as Ben’s father Gerard was hospitalized in Johannesburg just before the series began and the all-rounder was in visible tension as he missed a couple of practice sessions as well. The 64-year-old elder Stokes’ health became better and Ben played in both Tests, despite England losing the first one by 107 runs.
“I don’t want to get into it too much, but obviously with everything that’s happened with my dad and stuff like that, you have a bit more inside of you and the niggles and the injuries and stuff like that just sort of go. I know I always wear this shirt with the most amount of pride that I possibly can running in to bowl, but there was a bit more there for me this week.,” Stokes was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
Apart from 47 and 72, Stokes also picked up three wickets in the second innings to bring England the victory with only a handful of overs remaining in the final day’s play. He was named Man of the Match for his performance. This continued a golden run for him after his exploits in the 2019 World Cup and Ashes the same year.
“And you know, bad knee, bad side or whatever it was, I always had my dad in the back of my mind, thinking about where he was. I haven’t managed to speak to him tonight but I hope I’ve made him proud,” Stokes further added.
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