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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Ben Stokes races to double hundred ! - Know who is in the row at : 3,4,6,10 & 11 ?

Newlands, home of Western Province Cricket, has been described by many, together with the Adelaide Oval in Australia, as one of the most beautiful cricket grounds in the World. Nestled behind and at the foot of Table Mountain it is one of the most picturesque places in the world to watch cricket.

The home team is not enjoying the scenic surroundings as England declared at humongous 629/6 … after being 167/4 abd 223/5 at one stage.   This Test no. 2196 is the 2nd of Basil D’Oliveira Series.  Way back in 1968-69, England tour was jeopardised as Oliveira affair snow-balled in to a big crisis.  The point of contention was whether or not the England team selectors would include the eponymous Basil D'Oliveira, a mixed-race South African player who had represented England in Test cricket since 1966, having moved there six years earlier. With South Africa under apartheid, England's potential inclusion of a non-white South African in their tour party became a massive political controversy. Under pressure from the British government and public to show opposition to apartheid, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) tour organisers sought to maintain links with South Africa and have the series go ahead without incident. The MCC selectors faced considerable criticism in Britain after they named a team without D'Oliveira; when they then included D'Oliveira after all following an injured player's withdrawal, outcry instead came from South Africa. Compromise proved impossible, and the MCC reluctantly cancelled the tour.  That is history.

At Capetown, it was Ben Stokes who was at the centrestage making 258 with 30 fours and 11 sixers. The 399  partnership between Stokes and Jonny Bairstow is  England's second highest for in Tests, next only to the 411-run stand between Colin Cowdrey and Peter May against West Indies at Edgbaston in 1957.

Ben Stokes bludgeoned one of the great attacking Test innings - the second fastest double century in Test history - on the second day of the second Test in Cape Town and those who were there to see it must have been enriched by the experience.  Freckled of complexion and brawny of stroke, he wielded his bat like a wrecking ball, razing South Africa's attack to the ground.

A peep in the Cricket records reveals that the fastest is Nathan Astle’s 153 ball effort against England at Christchurch in 2001-02; the 2nd is today’s innings of Stokes. Third & fourth are our own Viru.  Virender Sehwag 168 ball 200 against Lanka at Mumbai and 182 ball effort at Lahore.  5th is Brendon McCullum; 6th is again Virupa – against South Africa at Chennai off 194.  10th and 11th are also his – against Pak at Multan and against Sri Lanka at Galle

What a batter he was !- Virender Sehwag, the swash-buckler.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

3rd Jan 2015.

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