Ben strokes his way to fastest 250

Ben strokes his way to fastest 250

Southpaw tears into SA attack, Amla leads hosts' fightback

Ben strokes his way to fastest 250
Brutal batting from Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow broke a host of records as England declared on 629 for six before South Africa replied with 141 for two at the close of play on the second day of the second Test at Newlands on Sunday.

Stokes bludgeoned the fastest 250 in Test cricket in a 399-run world-record partnership for the sixth wicket with Bairstow, who was 150 not out after scoring a maiden Test century.

Hashim Amla (64 not out) and AB de Villiers (25 not out) were defiant at the close as South Africa cut back the deficit to 488 runs.

On a day like few others in test history, England set about the home bowling with abandon, approaching the first session as if it was a Twenty20 game with relentless attacking that never waned.

England resumed on 317-5 but raced to 513-5 at lunch in a morning session of 196 runs before declaring some 30 minutes before tea after amassing the highest first-innings total in a Test at the picturesque Cape Town ground at a rate of some eight runs per over.

Stokes, who was 74 not out overnight, scored the second fastest double century in Test history, his 200 coming off 163 balls, 10 more than record holder Nathan Astle of New Zealand.

The 24-year-old Stokes reached his 250 off 196 balls, beating Virender Sehwag's former record for India (207), and was eventually run out for 258 after facing 198 deliveries, a knock which included 30 fours and an England-record 11 sixes. Stokes also set the highest score by a Test batsman at number six.