After a memorable 2019, Ben Stokes has picked up where he left off by starting this year with a match-winning display for England to level the four-match Test series in South Africa.
He took a record-breaking five catches in the first innings, hit a swashbuckling 72 off 47 balls to help Joe Root’s team set the hosts 438 for victory and wrapped up the win with the final three wickets in Cape Town.
The man of the match performance continued a hectic few weeks for the all-rounder and here the PA news agency takes a look at Stokes’ recent timeline.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 15, 2019
Ben Stokes was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2019 on December 15 to cap a remarkable 12 months. He was man of the match in the World Cup final win after his batting heroics and then dramatic super over exploits. This was followed up by an unbeaten 135 to secure a famous one-wicket win in the third Ashes Test at Headingley.
The Stokes family had more pressing issues to worry about over Christmas when Ged Stokes, Ben’s father, was admitted into hospital with a serious illness on December 23. England’s vice-captain missed training the following day to be at his bedside, but did play in the Boxing Day Test at Centurion. Ged has since left intensive care as he continues his recovery.
The England all-rounder was the star attraction in the sporting summer of 2019 https://t.co/FyWNAeTWMM
— PA Sport (@pasport) December 28, 2019
Stokes was one of four England players to be recognised in the New Year Honours list for their efforts in helping the country win a first 50-over World Cup. The 28-year-old has been awarded an OBE.
Cape Town heroics
More records were broken by Stokes on January 5 when he became the first English fielder, excluding wicketkeepers, to take five catches in an innings as South Africa were dismissed for 223. A day earlier he hit 47 in their total of 269. This was topped when he struck a rapid half-century in the second innings to set the home team an improbable victory target. A draw looked likely heading into the final session of the fifth day, but Stokes’ three wickets saw Chris Silverwood secure a first Test win as England head coach.