That Ben Stokes batted 356 balls for his 176 in the first innings of the 2nd Test against West Indies at Old Trafford, Manchester, and then went on to clobber 78 off just 57 balls in the second innings, giving the hosts a very good chance to win the match and level the series, is so insane that fans can get enough of ‘Super Stokes’.
In this Test, Stokes has scored 254 runs, getting out only once and has so far claimed one wicket. That’s just one guy we are talking about. Stokes cautious approach in the first innings with Dom Sibley was the exact opposite to his approach in the second. Walking out to open the innings with Jos Buttler - points for Joe Root for captaincy - Stokes was unfazed by the early departure of Buttler and drove the game in England’s favour with some measured aggression that had fans on social media going ga-ga over the allrounder’s performance. Some even went on to compare Stokes with AB de Villiers with the ease with which the allrounder managed to change the tempo of his game in the two innings.
His nonchalant six off Alzarri Joseph has already made it to the top viral videos of 2020 already and his stroke-making in the second innings will surely bring more joy.
Here are some of the best reactions from social media on Stokes innings:
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 20, 2020
Ben Stokes being a ridiculously good cricketer. A thread — pic.twitter.com/sWbmykbb7b — Cricket District 🏏 (@cricketdistrict) July 20, 2020
In this game, Ben Stokes has scored 254 of the 443 runs while he has been at the crease (and been dismissed once). He scored his slowest Test century, then the fastest Test fifty by an England opener. What a player.— Lawrence Booth (@the_topspin) July 20, 2020
Face 300 balls in the first innings. Scores a 36 ball fifty in the second innings. Just Ben Stokes being Ben Stokes — Peter Miller (@TheCricketGeek) July 20, 2020
We are living in Ben Stokes world as he completes 50 from just 36 balls including 2 fours and 2 sixes while coming as an opener in Tests. #ENGvWI pic.twitter.com/IrvCbPXM31— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) July 20, 2020
Perhaps the greatest compliment you can pay Ben Stokes’ Test batting right now is there is something of AB de Villiers in the way he can do what he did in the first innings—facing 356 balls, & now come out & play this pinch-hitting role. Rare & precious versatility. #ENGvWI — Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) July 20, 2020
Ben Stokes scored 78* in just 57 balls today, while he also scored 72(47) earlier this year at Cape Town.He is the first player with multiple 130+ strike-rate Test fifties in an year, since Kapil Dev in 1982 - who scored 89(55) v ENG & 73(53) v PAK then.#ENGvWI
— Kausthub (@kaustats) July 20, 2020
Ben Stokes is second most important player right now in all forms of cricket after Virat Kohli. Agree? #ENGVWI #BenStokes — Jeepers Creepers 🗯️ (@jencricktracker) July 20, 2020
With a sensational performance, Stokes has set England on course for a series-levelling win