Following on from Joe Root’s imperious hundred on day one of the second Test between England and the West Indies, star all-rounder Ben Stokes struck a brilliant hundred of his own on day two.
After Dan Lawrence was out for 91 off the final ball on day one, Stokes took control on day two as he struck 89 runs in the morning session alone. After taking his time to get in, Stokes injected some impetus and brutality into England’s innings and found the boundary with great regularity.
He dominated his partnership with Root and struck 20 runs off just one over from Alzarri Joseph. After going into lunch on 89 off just 92 balls, Stokes reached three figures in the afternoon session with a single off his 114th delivery.
It was a stunning inning from the England vice-captain, with his hundred containing a highlight reel of shots that included reverse-sweeps and a six which landed on the roof of the Kensington Oval. It was Stokes’ first Test hundred since his outstanding 176 against the West Indies in England’s stunning 113-run win at Old Trafford at the start of the pandemic.
In the process, Stokes passed 5,000 Test runs and joined an exclusive club of legendary all-rounders to have completed the 5,000 run and 150 wicket double in Test cricket. Stokes is just the fifth player to have reached the milestone, following in the footsteps of Garfield Sobers, Ian Botham, Kapil Dev, and Jacques Kallis.
Having struggled in the Ashes, scoring just 236 runs at an average of 23.60 and taking four wickets at an average of 71.50, has been in much better form in the Caribbean. He was the pick of England’s seamers in the first Test and has now gone on to play trademark innings in the second Test.
“This is the Ben Stokes that empties the bars as people come to watch,” Former England international Jonathan Agnew told the BBC. “Strong, bludgeoning drives, big sixes. No cricket ground is big enough when he’s in this sort of mood.”
West Indies legend Curtly Ambrose added: “A wonderful innings so far from Ben Stokes who has played brilliantly. Once he gets going he can punish any attack in world cricket. A standing ovation and he’s deserved this hundred. He’s taken the attack the bowlers and they have had no answer.”
At the other end, Root continued his innings in much more sedate fashion as Stokes’ brutal assault overshadowed him. Root went on to pass 150 for the twelfth time in his Test career, before getting out lbw for 153 to Kemar Roach.