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Joe Root,Ben Stokes defy South Africa

AFP
Published : Jan 15, 2016, 10:30 pm IST
Updated : Jan 15, 2016, 10:30 pm IST

Joe Root hit a thrilling century for England as he and Ben Stokes transformed the third Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday.

England’s batsman Joe Root, celebrates his century on the second dayof third test between South Africa and England- AP
 England’s batsman Joe Root, celebrates his century on the second dayof third test between South Africa and England- AP

Joe Root hit a thrilling century for England as he and Ben Stokes transformed the third Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday.

England were 238/5 when the threat of lightning brought an early close on the second day, 75 runs behind South Africa’s first innings total of 313.

Root was on 106 not out, his ninth Test century. A fifth-wicket partnership of 111 in 78 minutes off 97 balls with Stokes (58) swung the match dramatically in England’s favour after a four-pronged South African pace attack had reduced the tourists to 91/4.

Root and Stokes counter-attacked, posting a fifty partnership off only 35 balls in a match where the average scoring rate had hovered at around three an over on a pitch offering help to the fast bowlers.

Stokes, who hit a dazzling 258 in the drawn second Test in Cape Town, got a hostile welcome from Morne Morkel, fending a bouncer off his glove for a single. But in the next over Stokes pulled a short ball from Rabada for six. He reached his fifty off 46 balls and his innings lasted 54 deliveries before he offered a caught and bowled chance to Morkel off a leading edge.

Root continued to bat aggressively and reached his century off 126 balls when he punched Chris Morris through the covers for his 16th four.

Scores: South Africa 1st innings 313 (o/n 267/7) (D. Elgar 46, Stokes 3/53, Broad 2/82, Finn 2/50) vs England 1st innings 238/5 (J. Root 106 batting, B. Stokes 58, Rabada 2/44)

Location: South Africa, Gauteng, Johannesburg