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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 27 February 2024

‘Benchmark’ set, Ben Stokes looks ahead

Dean Elgar puts up a confident face, saying there will be no panic in his team despite the heavy defeat

The Telegraph Manchester Published 29.08.22, 03:07 AM
Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes File Photo

England’s emphatic victory over South Africa in the second test at Old Trafford has set the “benchmark” for the team, captain Ben Stokes said after they defeated the visitors by an innings and 85 runs within three days. Having taken a first-innings lead of 264, England bowled out South Africa for 179 on Saturday to earn their fifth win in six Tests and bounce back from the disappointment of losing the series opener at Lord’s.

Stokes scored 103 in England’s first innings and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes smashed an unbeaten 113, while James Anderson became the leading wicket-taker among pacers across all formats. “Cricket is about how you bat, bowl and field and I think that the way we batted, bowled and fielded this whole game is like the benchmark of the standards of what we set,” said Stokes.

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“I think what we did incredibly well with the bat was assess... we didn’t feel this was a wicket where we could go out and play in the way that we spoke about. I think that is real progress for the side.”

‘No panic’ for Elgar

Stokes’ South Africa counterpart, Dean Elgar, too put up a confident face, saying there will be no panic in his team despite the heavy defeat. Elgar, however, admitted that there will be some tough questions to answer ahead of the series decider.

“You can go into panic mode when these things happen, but the coach (Mark Boucher) and I are not those types of guys,” Elgar said. “We are here to win a Test series and we’re still in a position to do that.” Elgar chose to bat first under overcast Manchester skies on Day I and England’s seamers exploited the conditions superbly.

“First innings runs stabilises your game. If you score 300 plus, you are giving yourself the best chance of winning,” he said. “We only scored half of that and had to play catch-up cricket. If you look at the first Test, England’s batting in the first innings let them down. It was the same for us in this Test.

“When you are ahead like that, you put your foot on the opponent’s throat and keep it there. That’s Test cricket.” The teams will now meet in the series decider at The Oval from September 8.

(Written with inputs from Reuters)

Green gets five in Aussie win

A maiden five-wicket haul by seamer Cameron Green on Sunday set Australia up for a five-wicket victory in the first ODI against Zimbabwe in Townsville, which is hosting the first series between the sides Down Under since 2004. Sent in to bat, the visitors were bowled out in 47.3 overs for 200. Australia completed the chase with 99 balls to spare.

Most of Zimbabwe’s runs were scored by 21-year-old Wesley Madhevere (72), Tadiwanashe Marumani (45) and Regis Chakabva (31). A tribute to former Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds, who died in a car accident outside Townsville in May, preceded the hosts’ innings. Australia’s middle-order wobbled, but runs from David Warner (57), Steve Smith (48 not out) and Glenn Maxwell (32 off 9 balls) took them home.

Brief scores: Zimbabwe 200 in 47.3 ovs (Wesley Madhevere 72; Cameron Green 5/33). Australia 201/5 in 33.3 ovs (David Warner 57). Australia won by 5 wickets

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