England's ace all-rounder Ben Stokes, in yet another match-winning performance, helped England level the Test series against South Africa with a crucial win the second Test at Newlands. A brilliant all-round performance by Stokes comprised of a quickfire 72 runs in the first innings, 6 catches and three crucial wickets in the second innings. As a result, the all-rounder was also awarded the man of the match award.
However, at the post-match presentation, Stokes said that opener Dom Sibley actually deserved the man of the match award but was too shy to collect it. "I came in situations where it was do or die really and I thought Dom put all the hard yards in to get us in the position of winning. He’s the man of the match, he should be the one up here. But he’s unfortunately slid away, but I won’t be taking that, he’s trying to run away as fast as he can.” The opener had notched up a significant and his maiden century in the second innings of the match.
England's World Cup hero then on Wednesday revealed how he had convinced Sibley to accept the award. "So we are sitting next to each other in the dressing room and I walked in, gave it to him and he put it in my place,” said Stokes. “I went ‘no’ and put it in his bag. I walked back in and it was back in my bag. I said: ‘You’ve shafted me once by making me do the interviews, if it ends up back in my spot we are never sitting next to each other again.’ He has got it now,” Stokes told the Guardian.
Kagiso Rabada and company put England under tremendous pressure in the first innings as the English were bundled up for a mere 269. Dean Elgar put on a stunning display of batting but unfortunately missed out on a deserving century as the Proteas were bowled out for 223. The English batsmen then came strong at South Africa as debutant Dominic Sibley notched up his maiden century.
Skipper Joe Root also scored a half-century while Ben Stokes' fiery 72 helped England post a target of 439. With just a day to go, South Africa looked to draw the match instead of chasing the total. However, resilient fights from Pieter Malan and Quinton de Kock weren't enough in front of the English pace attack. As a result, England won the match by 189 runs and levelled the series 1-1.