Ben Stokes only wanted to hit every ball for six and not think about triple hundred
England Captain Alastair Cook gave his teammate Ben Stokes the chance to reach a triple century on the second day at Newlands. But Stokes only had one idea on his mind – to keep trying to hit every ball for six.
After England crossed 600, for the first time since 2011, a message came out to Stokes and Jonny Bairstow from the dugout about the team plans. Cook wanted to declare with 630 on the board, but was also aware of yet another milestone looming for Stokes and England Cricket. At the rate he was scoring at that moment, it may only have taken a few more overs to reach the magical figure of 300 – something an England batsman has not achieved since Graham Gooch's 333 against India 26 years ago.
In a recent interview after the blistering knock, Stokes said, "Cooky actually ran a message and said '630 or do you want to go for 300?' I said it doesn't really matter because I'm just trying to hit every ball for six."
Stokes' unforgettable innings ended on 258 in chaotic circumstances. AB de Villiers of all the people dropped the catch only to then throw down the stumps.
Stokes said on his dismissal "I wasn't expecting AB to drop it."
His innings came to an end with an utmost chaos but not before Stokes had written himself a place in cricket history with the second fastest double century off just 163 balls. And also the highest individual score by a No. 6, beating Doug Walters 250.
I just tried to chance my arm and everything went my way: Stokes
The 24-year-old said, "Everything went my way, it hasn't quite sunk in yet. We had a lot of runs, I thought we were in a good position, so just tried to chance my arm and thought we were in a good position anyway."
Stokes had begun the second day with an initiative-grabbing onslaught against Morne Morkel and Chris Morris which continued the onslaught started from the first evening. His knock ended with 11 maximums and 30 fours. He was clearly hitting the ball very hard in quest to hit every ball for six.
Stokes added, "I wasn't intentionally going to play like that but I got myself in on a good wicket, the ball was starting to reverse, but the new ball came on faster and its conventional swing which is easier to play. You just try to get the shine off as quick as you can."