Ben Stokes reached the milestone from 163 balls on the second day of the second Test in Cape Town on Sunday © Gettyn Images (File Photo)
Ben Stokes reached the milestone from 163 balls on the second day of the second Test in Cape Town on Sunday © Gettyn Images (File Photo)

London: England great Ian Botham hailed a “magnificent” display by Ben Stokes after the Durham all-rounder smashed his record for the fastest England double century against South Africa. Stokes, 24, reached the milestone from 163 balls on the second day of the second Test in Cape Town on Sunday, obliterating Botham’s mark of 220, set against India in 1982. Analysing the match for Sky Sports, Botham said: “It was magnificent, one of the best examples of Test cricket I’ve seen in a long time. “Ben Stokes is box office. We knew he’d got it, and this is the tip of the iceberg. He’ll get it wrong once in a while, but he is a guy that wins matches, and they don’t come along very often. You’re just king of the castle. No boundary’s big enough, no bowler’s quick enough. It really is a moment to enjoy.” FULL SCORECARD: South Africa vs England, 2nd Test at Cape Town

Stokes’s innings was also the second-fastest double ton in Test history, surpassed only by Nathan Astle’s record of 153 balls for New Zealand against England in 2002. Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott said: “All those thousands of England supporters who’ve come out here for a bit of a holiday, a bit of sunshine, see some cricket — you’ve seen something special.” FULL UPDATES: South Africa vs England, 2nd Test at Cape Town, Day 2

Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow had then played out the rest of the overs. Day One had finished with England on 317 for 5 with Stokes on 74 and Bairstow on 39. South Africa were hit so hard and so early when play resumed on Day Two that by the time they realised what had hit them, England had already put 400 on the board. They went to lunch on 513 for 5, adding 196 in the pre-lunch session.