Ben Stoke’s double whammy as England complete their three-day win over South Africa

Ben Stokes scored the crucial brace to put England on course to a three-day win over South Africa at Emirates Old Trafford.

England trumped home in the second LV= Test with one innings and 85 runs – an even bigger lead than they lost in similarly devastating fashion at Lord’s last week – as they flattened the tourists for 179.

And it was Captain Stokes who once again demonstrated his inspiring all-round qualities, following up his fine century on day two with a long run of bloody ball-in-hand brilliance.

Fourth wicket pair Keegan Petersen and Rassive van der Dussen had successfully sucked the heat out of England after a strong start from the hosts and blocked their path in a determined 87-in-261 record.

With inspiration scarce, it fell to Stokes to break her will as he removed the pair in quick succession to end their 43-over rearguard. His defining moment came in the middle of a grueling 14-over stint on either side of the tea break as he lashed out for the cause and played trumps.

After doing his job, he threw the new ball to James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, who finished things off with a glow of glory by taking the last five wickets for just seven runs in a mere 30-delivery span.

England v South Africa - LV= Insurance Test Series - Second Test - Day Three - Emirates Old Trafford

England’s Ollie Robinson celebrates defeating the wicket of South Africa’s Lungi Ngidi (Mike Egerton/PA Images).

Robinson, in his comeback performance after a seven-month hiatus, pocketed numbers of four for 43 while Anderson picked up three for 30. With his yield, the 40-year-old surpassed the Australian Glenn McGrath as the most successful fast bowler in international cricket in all formats. bringing his combined tally to a remarkable 951.

With the comfort of a 264-run lead in the first innings, England started the day rousingly with three cheap breakouts in the morning session.

Anderson got things moving in an emphatic manner by turning the departure of captain Dean Elgar on its head for 11. Elgar is known as the most consistent hitter on his side, but his hopes of staying long ended with a classic Anderson setup that pinched off a pitch before one that snaked back in and squeezed past the left-hander’s defence.

Robinson lapsed into a seeking spell of his own and was rewarded when Sarel shoved Erwee into one who climbed off the field. Under pressure from the scoreboard, England were in full control and it wasn’t long before Stuart Broad joined the chase. He thought he had Aiden Markram for a duck, but his brilliant performance and the outside edge that followed were mooted by a marginal no-ball.

The off-form Markram barely benefited from the levy, managing just six before targeting a faulty drive on Broad. A collapse seemed on the cards but Petersen and Van der Dussen successfully slowed things down by relying on a solid, watchful defence.

England v South Africa - LV= Insurance Test Series - Second Test - Day Three - Emirates Old Trafford

South Africa’s Dean Algar is bowled by England’s James Anderson (Mike Egerton/PA Images).

They safely set a course for the lunch break and then smothered England during a wicketless afternoon session during which just 53 were added to the total. With Jack Leach’s left arm twist posing no real threat – his 23 overs cost only 26 runs but created minimal drama – Stokes decided to throw himself into the fray.

He had briefly raised concerns about his problematic left knee as he made a century on day two, but he banished those concerns as he threw himself into a grueling but crucial shift from the Brian Statham end.

After six overs of short stuff late in the afternoon game, during which he failed to spot a thin edge from Van der Dussen, he pressed on early in the evening session and it proved a feat as he ripped out both set batters to make room for 10 deliveries.

Van der Dussen (41′) was guilty of nothing more complicated than a loss of concentration, returning after the break and chasing his third ball. Stokes hung it well outside the stump and found just enough outward momentum to turn a careless wave at-bat into an easy catch for Ben Foakes.

England v South Africa - LV= Insurance Test Series - Second Test - Day Three - Emirates Old Trafford

Keegan Petersen scored South Africa’s highest score at 42 while England edged them out at 179 (Mike Egerton/PA Images).

With his partner gone, the weight on Petersen’s shoulders doubled, but Stokes dealt with him for 42 with a brute on his next visit. He found the same form in the air, but this time with more bounce and a tighter line, and Petersen flinched as he tried to get his racquet out of the way.

Foakes took another chance, Stokes clenched his fists in satisfaction and the crowd roared their approval. When a fresh Dukes became available, he tossed him to Anderson and Robinson, who recklessly scattered the tail.

Anderson hissed one into Simon Harmer’s away stump with his second ball in attack and made short work of Kagiso Rabada while Robinson took care of the rest while Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi lined up to be shot down.

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