Stokes and Sibley leave South Africa facing record persecution

Cape Town, January 6 (AFP) Ben Stokes launched an amazing assault and Dom Sibley made an undefeated century when England took full command on the fourth day of the second Test against South Africa in Newlands on Monday.

England declared its second inning in 391 for eight shortly after lunch, setting South Africa the great task of achieving a world record of 438 to win.

South African batters Pieter Malan and Dean Elgar took their team to 46 for not having any pass in the tea.

Stokes hit 72 of 47 balls to eclipse Sideny, a Maiden of the Test Century, who continued her quiet progress while taking her night score from 85 to 133 no. It reached its one hundred of 269 balls and faced 311 deliveries in its entrances.

England's batting on Monday was a dramatic contrast to their effort on Sunday when they reached 218 for four of 79 hits. Unchained by Stokes, they added another 157 runs just 32 overs before the declaration.

While Sibley continued to play the role of anchor, Stokes attacked all the bowlers he faced. He survived an opportunity in 38 when an attempt to shoot against Kagiso Rabada could not be held back by a Quinton de Kock who dived after the wicketkeeper ran about 35 meters trying to catch him.

Stokes was caught in the left arm spinner Keshav Maharaj after an entry that included three six and seven four and had a large English contingent in the crowd shouting his approval.

Ollie Pope fell quickly, but Jos Buttler continued the attack, hitting 23 of 18 balls when the advantage exceeded 400.

South African captain Faf du Plessis decided not to take the second new ball when he won after a Dwaine Pretorius maiden at the start of the game. Perhaps he reasoned that Maharaj had the opportunity to fire Stokes early in his tickets. However, the tactic failed, as 28 runs were added in five overs before the new ball was taken, including Stokes' six against Pretorius and Maharaj. (AFP) AH AH

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