England v South Africa LIVE: Cricket score from second Test today as Stokes and Foakes build big lead

·37-min read
Ben Foakes made a career-best 113 and was unbeaten when England declared on 415-9  (AFP via Getty Images)
Ben Foakes made a career-best 113 and was unbeaten when England declared on 415-9 (AFP via Getty Images)

Ben Stokes made his first century as England captain as he and Ben Foakes put the hosts in a commanding position on day two of the second Test against South Africa.

Stokes made 103 on day two at Old Trafford, powering his team into a handsome lead of 169 before holing out six balls later.

England were still four runs behind when he came together with Foakes (69no) in the morning session, with the pair eventually parted on 320-6. Stokes hit three sixes and six fours, but a strike-rate of 63.19 told a better story about the balance he was able to strike between power and poise.

Foakes would then go on to reach a century himself - his second for England - following the departure of his skipper and although wickets fell at the other end, he was unbeaten on a career-best 113 when Stokes declared at 415-9 towards the end of the day, with a lead of 264.

South Africa are in real strife, but Sarel Erwee and Dean Elgar remained together at the close, and will set about batting their side back into the game in the morning.

England vs South Africa

  • South Africa 151 all out on day one; England 111-3 at stumps

  • OUT! Jonny Bairstow 49 (63), ct. Sarel Erwee, b. Anrich Nortje, England 134-4 (33.4)

  • OUT! Zak Crawley 38 (101), ct. Kyle Verreynne, b. Anrich Nortje, England 147-5 (35.4)

  • Lunch! England (212/5) lead South Africa (151ao) by 61 runs

  • Tea! England 308/5 (86), B Stokes 98, B Foakes 61, K Rabada 1-86 (20)

  • 100 for Ben Stokes! England 311/5 (87.2)

  • OUT! Ben Stokes 103 (163), ct. Dean Elgar, b. Kagiso Rabada, England 320/6 (89.2)

  • 100 for Ben Foakes! England 394/7 (102)

  • OUT! Jack Leach 11 (17) b. Keshav Maharaj, England 415-9 (106.4)

  • DECLARED! England declare on 415-9, a lead of 264 runs

  • STUMPS! South Africa (151ao & 23/0) trail England (415/9d) by 241 runs

Stumps! South Africa (151ao & 23/0) trail England (415/9d) by 241 runs

18:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That just about concludes our coverage this evening of another excellent day for England. Can South Africa show some fight with the bat and battle back into this game? Do join us tomorrow morning to find out.

Until then, farewell!

Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes centuries put England in complete control

Ben Foakes speaks to Sky Sports after his first Test century in England

18:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“Amazing. There was a bit of relief, but I’m overjoyed really. I got one in my first game and then had to wait a while - they are hard to come by. The whole journey makes you really value it.

“[Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum] are just so clear in what they expect from you, let you go and do it your way. They are so supportive.

“It’s obviously not easy - they have got a fantastic bowling attack and it was tough out there. All day was really awesome, it was so loud, and it really encourages you on.

“I think this one [was more rewarding that my first in Galle]. Fairytale wise, on debut it doesn’t get much better, but you don’t know what is to come. You don’t have the hardship behind you, all the trials and tribulations.

“Once the ball got soft, it was actually quite hard to score. I was just trying to get into a groove, little technical things that I have been working on. I wanted to play a little more how I do, wait for the ball and play it late.

“It is a difficult wicket against reverse swing because it does keep low, and they got it to move both ways, which was tough. They bowled quite well, I thought. The way Stokesy went from 50 to 100 quickly took the pressure off me.

“Day One it looked like there was a little bit of moisture on top, so it nipped quickly. Today felt more like dry nip. When we were batting, the grass had burnt off a bit, so it was doing it slower, and then the odd one was just shooting through.”

STUMPS! South Africa (151ao & 23/0) trail England (415/9d) by 241 runs

18:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Centurions Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes lead a pleased England off. They again dominated proceedings in Manchester, building a lead in excess of 250 thanks to two fine hands from their rhyming pair. South Africa are in real strife, but Sarel Erwee and Dean Elgar remain together at the close, and will set about batting their side back into the game in the morning.

CLOSE OF PLAY! South Africa 23/0 (9), S Erwee 12, D Elgar 11, J Leach 0-3 (3)

18:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ben Stokes shuffles his close-in fielders, two slips, two leg slips, and still Pope under the lid at short leg. Elgar lunges his knee at the last ball of the day, making sure it will cause him no bother, and South Africa have survived through to stumps, 241 behind.

South Africa 23/0 (8.4), S Erwee 12, D Elgar 11, J Leach 0-3 (2.4)

18:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Leach continues, and there’s a frisson of excitement as both Ollie Pope and Ben Stokes claim a looping catch on the leg side, but that’s come straight off Dean Elgar’s pad,

Another yelp! A genuine edge as Elgar is squared up but out of the reach of a diving first slip!

South Africa 21/0 (8), S Erwee 12, D Elgar 9, O Robinson 0-15 (4)

18:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The stands are just starting to empty as Ollie Robinson is clipped prettily for four by Dean Elgar. Anrich Nortje is South Africa’s nightwatchman, looking on as Robinson gets one to holds its line and again beat Elgar’s push.

South Africa 14-0 (7), S Erwee 10, D Elgar 4, J Leach 0-1 (2)

18:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Sarel Erwee is stepping across his stumps a touch to Jack Leach, which may encourage the left-arm spinner to dart a couple through. A maiden, for now, with little to unduly trouble the taller of the left-handed South African openers.

South Africa 14-0 (6), S Erwee 10, D Elgar 4, O Robinson 0-8 (3)

18:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A third over for Ollie Robinson. Erwee nicks a single into the covers before Elgar is beaten with movement away, dangling his bat out in front of him like a fishing rod. A bit of extra bounce, too.

Three more to come tonight.

South Africa 13-0 (5), S Erwee 9, D Elgar 4, Jack Leach 0-1 (1)

18:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another huge shout from England as Sarel Erwee shoulders arms - not out once more the call, and no review! A little bit of turn for Leach, but not enough, according to the umpire...who is proved conclusively right by ball tracking.

The fielders gather in tight as Elgar faces, a slip, leg slip, short leg, catching mid-on adjacent to the strip and a short midwicket for good measure, too. The South African captain calmly pats a couple of shorter Leach balls away.

South Africa 12-0 (4), S Erwee 8, D Elgar 4, O Robinson 0-7 (2)

18:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Two off-line balls from Robinson, one on the pads of Erwee, another outside Elgar’s off stump, and the South African opening pair take a three and a two.

Aha - an early change from England, with Jack Leach given a bowl with the new ball. I think we may see four bowlers used this evening.

South Africa 7-0 (3), S Erwee 5, D Elgar 2, J Anderson 0-5 (1)

17:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A pleasant shot to get off the mark by Sarel Erwee, leaning on a straight drive that skedaddles away from the chasing mid-off and mid-on fielders and into the boundary cushion.

Just as in the first innings, England’s opening pair are over the wicket to Erwee and round to Elgar, who is forward certainly to Anderson’s last ball.

Not out! South Africa 2-0 (2.1), S Erwee 0, D Elgar 2, J Anderson 0-0 (1.1)

17:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It has not! Without particularly lavish swing, Anderson will have to get it fuller to get an LBW from over the wicket - it’s pitching outside leg, and the bounce might have been an issue too.

Review! South Africa 2-0 (2.1), S Erwee 0, D Elgar 2, J Anderson 0-0 (1.1)

17:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This time Erwee is struck on the front pad - again turned down, but England send it upstairs to have a look! Has it pitched in line?

South Africa 2/0 (2), S Erwee 0, D Elgar 2, Ollie Robinson 0-2 (1)

17:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Dean Elgar spent a long time on nought in the first innings but is away from his third ball in the second, bottom hand leaving the bat as he gropes at it. He’ll get two via a thick outside edge.

That’s a loose shot - a short arm jab of sorts at a delivery that comes back at the batter, beating his waft.

South Africa 0/0 (1), S Erwee 0, D Elgar 0, J Anderson 0-0 (1)

17:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A great roar from the English fielders and the Old Trafford crowd join in exuberantly...but not given! Erwee coming forward and struck on the back thigh pad - going over the top, as Anderson concedes to his captain when contemplating the review.

Ollie Robinson will again take the new ball.

South Africa 0/0 (0.1), Sarel Erwee 0, Dean Elgar 0, James Anderson 0-0 (0.1)

17:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The first ball is down the leg side, Anderson immediately testing Ben Foakes’ readiness behind the stumps after 217 balls at the crease. Foakes moves well and gathers.

England prepare to bowl

17:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It will be nine overs this evening for England. I’ve seen no update on the fitness of Rassie van der Dussen as of yet.

Dean Elgar and Sarel Erwee walk out for what could be a testing 45 minutes. James Anderson has the new Dukes in his hands.

South Africa’s bowling figures

17:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Kagiso Rabada 23-2-110-2

Lungi Ngidi 18-3-61-1

Anrich Nortje 20-1-82-3

Keshav Maharaj 22.4-4-78-2

Simon Harmer 23-4-73-1

England (415-9d) lead South Africa by 264

17:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Here’s the full England batting card:

Alex Lees 4 (7) ct. Verreynne, b. Ngidi

Zak Crawley 38 (101) ct. Verreynne, b. Nortje

Ollie Pope 23 (27) b. Nortje

Joe Root 9 (15) ct. Erwee, b. Rabada

Jonny Bairstow 49 (63) ct. Erwee b. Rabada

Ben Stokes 103 (163) ct. Elgar, b. Rabada

Ben Foakes 113 (217) not out

Stuart Broad 21 (14) st. Verreynne, b. Harmer

Ollie Robinson 17 (22) ct. Markram, b. Maharaj

Jack Leach 11 (17) b. Maharaj

James Anderson DNB

END OF INNINGS: England 415-9 dec.

17:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England will lose two overs for the change of innings, which means they will have about eight or nine at South Africa tonight. They can attack with abandon after an excellent day of batting, led into a lead of 264 by two excellent hundreds from Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes, who finishes unbeaten on a career best 113. He’ll quickly swap into his keeping pads and gloves as England’s bowlers start to warm up.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

OUT! Jack Leach 11 (17) b. Keshav Maharaj, England 415-9 (106.4)

17:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Sliding on with the arm as Jack Leach wanders down, and clattering in to the top of off stump!

And with that, Ben Stokes calls Ben Foakes in - England have declared 264 ahead.

England 413-8 (106), J Leach 9, B Foakes 113, L Ngidi 1-61 (18)

17:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

How much longer will England bat? They don’t need to declare, of course, with the weather forecast good for the final three days but James Anderson, Ollie Robinson and Stuart Broad are readying themselves for a go at the South African top order tonight.

There’s Rassie van der Dussen to consider, too - the South Africa number five has spent the day off the field with a finger issue.

Ben Foakes has brought up his first century at home for England

17:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A hundred on Test debut at Galle in 2018, and now another for the debonair Surrey wicketkeeper, helping England build a significant first innnings lead.

England 407/8 (105), J Leach 8, B Foakes 108, K Maharaj 1-76 (22)

17:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Inventive from Jack Leach, a switch hit into the open space on the off side and away for another boundary. He has been working on his white ball batting...

Not out! England 402/8 (104.2), J Leach 4, B Foakes 107, K Maharaj 1-71 (21.2)

17:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Relatively speedy work from Verreynne, throwing a single hand to grab it and reach back to take the bails off, but not quick enough as Foakes slides his bat back in just in time.

OUT? Ben Foakes might have been stumped...

17:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Kyle Verreynne had a long way to go as the ball gripped sharply and turned away outside off stump. Did Foakes get back?

England 400/8 (104), J Leach 4, B Foakes 105, Lungi Ngidi 1-55 (17)

17:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Lungi Ngidi returns to try and finish things off for South Africa, and has his hands on his head as Jack Leach’s outside edge finds a gap between the slip cordon and backward point to take England to 400.

England 395/8 (103), Jack Leach 0, B Foakes 104, K Maharaj 1-69 (21)

17:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jack Leach comes to the crease, and he may be England’s last man - James Anderson does not appear to be padded up and is wearing some of the team sponsor’s casualwear, which hints that a declaration may come with the ninth wicket.

Leach blocks the final three balls of Maharaj’s over.

OUT! Ollie Robinson 17 (22), ct. Aiden Markram, b. Keshav Maharaj, England 395/8 (102.3)

17:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Taken at slip! Ollie Robinson sees his partner safely to the ton but his support extends no further, Keshav Maharaj getting one to bite out of the rough and Aiden Markram grasping it in front of his chest.

100 for Ben Foakes! England 394/7 (102), O Robinson 17, B Foakes 103, A Nortje 3-82 (20)

17:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

CUT AWAY AND THIS TIME HE GETS THERE! A second Test century for Ben Foakes, his first in England and this has been a high-class innings.

Foakes entered with England in rebuilding mode but he has been in total control throughout, picking off runs merrily through the leg side against the spinners. He raises bat and helmet to the saluting Manchester public.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

England 389/7 (101.4), O Robinson 17, B Foakes 98, A Nortje 3-77 (19.4)

17:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Tempting stuff from Nortje, a slower ball pushed straight to mid-off by Foakes, who then misses out on one that bullets by his waist down the leg side.

Hits the midwicket fielder! A confident pull but right at the man, drawing a frustrated lifting of the arms from Ben Stokes watching on from the balcony...

England 389/7 (101), O Robinson 17, B Foakes 98, K Maharaj 0-68 (20)

17:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Smart from Maharaj, playing on Foakes’ proximity to a personal milestone with a few flighty ones. A trademark nudge to leg inches him one closer.

England 388/7 (100)

17:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Keshav Maharaj to begin another over after drinks. A slip still in place.

Drinks! England (388/7) lead South Africa by 237

17:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And that’ll be time for drinks, with England continuing to score freely and Ben Foakes closing in on a first home ton.

England 388/7 (100), O Robinson 17, B Foakes 97, A Nortje 3-77 (19)

17:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Expertly timed by Ollie Robinson, directing a short ball from Anrich Nortje through point with a laid-back push of the bat to beat the fielder in the ring to his right.

Nortje puts in a fly slip as Robinson tries another of those late cuts, but over-pitches, a full toss on the hips worked away for two more.

England 381/7 (99), O Robinson 11, B Foakes 96, K Maharaj 0-67 (19)

16:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Glorious! The first aerial shot of the day from Ben Foakes against the spinners, and delightfully done, a little drop-kick over wide mid-on. A couple of hops and over the boundary.

A rather more grotesque stroke from Ollie Robinson lands in a similar area with little timing. Two more, regardless.

England 373/7 (98), O Robinson 8, B Foakes 91, A Nortje 3-70 (18)

16:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Hints of reverse swing? Perhaps, as Nortje twice beats the bat of Ben Foakes with just enough movement. Foakes resets with a restrained drive for a couple through the covers to move into the 90s.

England 371/7 (97.2), O Robinson 8, B Foakes 89, A Nortje 3-68 (17.2)

16:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Lifted over the slips for four! Slightly finer than Ollie Robinson hoped, but an effective shot against another Nortje lifter.

That’s savvy, too, tip and run into the offside with the fielders on their heels.

England 366/7 (97), O Robinson 3, B Foakes 89, Keshav Maharaj 0-59 (18)

16:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another misfield from South Africa, substitute Lutho Sipamla letting one through him at midwicket as Robinson pulls with stiff limbs from outside off. The young seamer gives valiant chase to atone and manages to drag it back, but that’s three more to England’s lead, now 215.

England 362/7 (96)

16:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

With two right-handers in, Dean Elgar switches spinners - the wicketless Keshav Maharaj returns.

England 362/7 (96), Ollie Robinson 0, B Foakes 88, A Nortje 3-63 (17)

16:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A brute! Nortje almost knocks Robinson on to his back with a spitting cobra of a delivery that the batter, in the end, sways niftily away from.

England 361/7 (95), Ollie Robinson 0, B Foakes 87, S Harmer 1-73 (23)

16:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ollie Robinson joins Ben Foakes, and reverse sweeps his second ball! Straight to the fielder at backward point but an indication of approach, perhaps, for someone who hasn’t yet consistently shown the real batting ability he has at Test level. He’s got a first-class hundred, hit on Sussex debut in an extraordinary partnership with the late, and much-missed, Matt Hobden.

OUT! Stuart Broad 21 (14), st. Kyle Verreynne, b. Simon Harmer, England 361/7 (94.3)

16:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Broad’s bashing is brief - at last joy for South Africa’s spinners! A telegraphed gallop towards the bowler, and Simon Harmer is much too wise to be planted back over his head again. Slightly slower, slightly shorter, and turning too much for Broad. Kyle Verreynne gathers, just, and removes the bails to send England’s hawk back to his roost.

England 360/6 (94), S Broad 21, B Foakes 86, A Nortje 3-62 (16)

16:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

South Africa have been a little sloppy in the field today, which hasn’t helped their cause. Ben Foakes should only get one for another of his favoured clips, but the fielder dives over the ball, granting Foakes three.

England 356/6 (93.2), S Broad 20, B Foakes 83, Anrich Nortje 3-58 (15.2)

16:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Sliced merrily away! A full toss from Nortje as he hunts the stumps, and Broad carves savagely over backward point for four.

England 352/6 (93), S Broad 16, B Foakes 83, S Harmer 0-72 (22)

16:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Foakes fancies a single from the last ball of Harmer’s latest, but Broad turns him down, and will face Anrich Nortje, back into the attack to try and knock over England’s tail.

England 352/6 (92.4), S Broad 16, B Foakes 83, S Harmer 0-72 (21.4)

16:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another squawk from the “Nighthawk”! Too straight from Harmer and Broad retrieves his broom to sweep gently around the corner for four.

England 346/6 (92), S Broad 11, B Foakes 82, K Rabada 2-110 (23)

16:29 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Smart from Broad, opening up the vacant offside by backing away and gently bumping the ball into the open space, two then three as the South African fielders shake their heads. England’s lead is nearing 200.

England 340/6 (91.3), S Broad 6, B Foakes 81, K Rabada 2-104 (22.2)

16:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Two powerful pulls and Ben Foakes is pressing the accelerator! He knows he may not have long with this England lower order to pursue his second Test ton, and two brilliantly controlled shots in front of square on the leg side off Rabada move him into the 80s.

England 330/6 (91), S Broad 6, B Foakes 72, S Harmer 0-66 (21)

16:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

South Africa stick with Simon Harmer, with Ben Foakes working another two through the leg side and then giving Harmer just one ball at Stuart Broad.

Six! Lovely from Broad, a shimmy down and locquacious swing of the bat to get off the mark with a clean blow back over Harmer’s head.

England 321/6 (90), Stuart Broad 0, B Foakes 69, K Rabada 2-94 (22)

16:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Stuart Broad is the new man to the crease, presumably granted freedom to have a dash. His approach isn’t too situation dependent, of course.

South Africa start with two slips, a gully, a short leg and two men back on the hook for Broad, who immediately backs away, poking uncomfortably at the ball.

Heave-ho! Bat in different postcode to ball as Broad aims for the balconies.

OUT! Ben Stokes 103 (163), ct. Dean Elgar, b. Kagiso Rabada, England 320/6 (89.2)

16:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But Ben Stokes falls soon after reaching three figures! He’d just copped a sore one from Rabada, knifing into the body off an inside edge, and Stokes couldn’t resist a great swing at the next ball.

It isn’t quite there to be hit as Stokes clears the front leg, just short enough to take a sizeable top edge, and a tumbling Dean Elgar takes a safe catch at mid-off.

Off wanders Stokes to a handshake from Rabada, and a standing ovation from the crowd having put his side so firmly ahead in this game.

England 320/5 (89), B Stokes 103, B Foakes 68, S Harmer 0-57 (20)

16:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Stokes chances another wander down the wicket, adjusting nicely as Harmer pulls his length back and blocking to long off for a comfortable single.

England 317/5 (88), B Stokes 101, B Foakes 67, K Rabada 1-93 (21)

16:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Foakes then guides Rabada down to third man for four.

100 for Ben Stokes! England 311/5 (87.2)

16:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

THERE IT IS! A crisp drive rebounds off the boot of Kagiso Rabada and away into open space, and through comes Ben Stokes to reach his 12th Test hundred, and first as England captain!

He promised that he would step up with the bat after some criticism of a slightly reckless approach this summer, and this has been delightfully measured, building slowly and then accelerating once set, and bringing up the landmark off 158 balls (6x4, 3x6).

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England 310-5 (87), B Stokes 99, B Foakes 62, Simon Harmer 0-54 (19)

16:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Foakes and Stokes take a single each from the first two balls of Harmer’s over, the crowd disappointed that their urging does not lead to Stokes charging back for two.

Four dots, and Stokes will take strike on 99.

Back out there

16:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But the camera’s focus is on Ben Stokes as he strides out to the middle alongside his partner. Two needed for a first hundred as England skipper.

The ball may only be six overs old but already Dean Elgar is returning to his spinners, hoping that Simon Harmer, who does take the new ball occasionally at Essex, can get it to skid on and trouble the two batters.

Ben Foakes’ 50

16:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

He’s had an outstanding summer with the bat at Surrey and this innings has been a useful reminder of just how organised a player Ben Foakes can be. He’d almost be better suited a couple of places higher at Test level, and while South Africa could have tested him more against Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, he has looked much more at ease against the quicks than at Lord’s.

Tea! England (308/5) lead South Africa (151ao) by 157 runs

15:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

An excellent session for England, their rhyming couplet of Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes proceeding serenely on and building their partnership to 161. Stokes has played superbly, compiling his highest score as Test captain, while Foakes has looked calm and in total control and moved to a third Test half-century - one he, perhaps, needed after some questions about his acumen against high pace.

The pair were rather helped by some slightly curious tactics from South Africa, who started with two spinners after lunch and waited what felt an age before throwing the ball to one of their quicks, allowing Foakes and Stokes to get settled. They are just one wicket away from another long English tail - but already this looks a potentially match-winning partnership.

Tea! England 308/5 (86), B Stokes 98, B Foakes 61, K Rabada 1-86 (20)

15:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Angling in and cutting Stokes in half, taking a bite out of midriff on the way through! No hundred just yet for Stokes, but he’ll wander off to an ovation from the home crowd.

Tea on the second day, with England ahead by 157 and still with five wickets in hand.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England 307/5 (85.5)

15:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A single off the hips from Foakes, and Stokes will have one ball in pursuit of the landmark before the interval...

Rabada around the wicket, making him wait with a couple of field changes.

England 307/5 (85.1)

15:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A pretty hideous swipe at a short ball moves Stokes on to 98.

England 306/5 (85), B Stokes 97, B Foakes 60, Anrich Nortje 3-54 (15)

15:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

South Africa just look a little flat as they near the end of the session. There will be one more from Kagiso Rabada before tea - with Stokes on strike on 97.

Review! England 305/5 (84.1)

15:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A yorker first up from Nortje and slamming into Stokes’ ankle. A shake of the head from the umpire - but Kyle Verreynne convinces Dean Elgar to review, hopeful that there was just a little feather on it as Sarel Erwee claims the catch at first slip.

No bat - the two sounds came from front pad and back pad, and it’s going down leg.

England 305/5 (84), B Stokes 96, B Foakes 60, K Rabada 1-84 (19)

15:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A stiffer presentation of the bat from Foakes guides Rabada proficiently through midwicket for three, before Stokes moves within four of his ton.

Anrich Nortje returns to try and deny the England captain.

England 300/5 (83.3), B Stokes 94, B Foakes 57, K Rabada 1-79 (18.3)

15:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Polite applause from the Old Trafford crowd as England bring up 300 with another Foakes nurdle.

England 299/5 (83), B Stokes 94, B Foakes 56, L Ngidi 1-50 (16)

15:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another of those Ngidi yorkers sneaks under the bat of Ben Foakes, but a foot or so wide of his stumps. A slight leading edge, more controlled than the one against Rabada, moves Foakes on to 56.

England 297/5 (82), B Stokes 93, B Foakes 55, Kagiso Rabada 1-77 (18)

15:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Leading edge, but safe! Foakes turned around as he prods anxiously at Rabada, helpless as he chips tamely into the covers...but Dean Elgar can’t get around to it.

The batter is then beaten on both outside and inside edge with Rabada swiftly into his work. A no-ball does bring up the 150 partnership.

England 296/5 (81), B Stokes 93, B Foakes 55, L Ngidi 1-48 (15)

15:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

These two really are running sharply between the wickets, taking two leg byes after Stokes is beaten and the ball scurries away into the leg side. A single apiece to grow the partnership to 149.

Kagiso Rabada will share the second new ball.

England 292/5 (80.2), B Stokes 92, B Foakes 54, L Ngidi 1-46 (14.2)

15:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Not the tidiest start - full and down the leg side and flicked away for four. Stokes into the nineties, England’s lead up to 141.

Dropped! Stokes skews into the covers but a leaping Aiden Markram can’t clutch it at full extension to his right! It’s a tough chance, but South Africa could have done with that sticking.

England 288/5 (80), B Stokes 88, B Foakes 54, S Harmer 0-52 (18)

15:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Right, the last over before the new ball comes available, to be bowled by Simon Harmer. Ben Foakes repeatedly picks out the scattered ring fielders on the leg side but picks up two through cover as Harmer drags one down.

Out comes the new ball - South Africa will, of course, take it immediately, with Lungi Ngidi to have first use of it.

Not out! England 286/5 (79), B Stokes 88, B Foakes 52, L Ngidi 1-42 (14)

15:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It is. Another quick review process with third umpire Nitin Menon all but certain after the first front-on replay. A confirmatory look at a side-on angle reveals the ball hitting the ground soon after the toe of Foakes’ Gray-Nicolls. An outstanding bit of work from Verreynne goes unrewarded.

England 285/5 (78.5), B Stokes 88, B Foakes 51, L Ngidi 1-41 (13.5)

15:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A couple of balls in Lungi Ngidi’s last two overs have kept a little low, Ben Foakes and the bowler sharing a look as bat just about squashes something of a scuttler that appeared destined for the off peg.

Hmm - this is an intriguing one. Foakes squeezes a yorker behind, Kyle Verreynne takes superbly and South Africa appeal! The soft signal is not out - was it a bump ball?

England 284/5 (78), B Stokes 87, B Foakes 51, Simon Harmer 0-50 (17)

15:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Simon Harmer returns for a go before the new ball is available. Ben Stokes won’t risk a heave out of the rough, a push to cover the only run of a rapid set of six.

50 for Ben Foakes! England 283/5 (77), B Stokes 86, B Foakes 51, L Ngidi 1-39 (13)

15:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A change of angle from Ngidi, over the wicket to Stokes, and causing the left-hander to play and miss as he chases a good length delivery. Stokes works a single to Keshav Maharaj at deep square leg.

And after a patient passage through the 40s, a thick edge through the gully takes Ben Foakes to a third Test fifty (116 balls, 3x4)! A very composed knock from the England wicketkeeper, his second half-century of his first home summer.

England 280/5 (76), B Stokes 85, B Foakes 49, K Maharaj 0-55 (17)

14:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Foakes works up to 49 with that familiar clip, and he’s happy to hurry through for a single to give Stokes one way, the England captain perhaps with designs on raising his bat before South Africa take that new ball.

England 277/5 (75.3), B Stokes 83, B Foakes 48, K Maharaj 0-52 (16.3)

14:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Shot! Stokes is starting to motor, smothering the turn superbly as he brings his bottom hand through a drive at a full ball, piercing the gap between deep point and mid-off.

Six! A sashay down and busying the seats ten rows back over long-off.

England 267/5 (75), B Stokes 73, B Foakes 48, L Ngidi 1-37 (12)

14:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another, similar ball from Ngidi is shorter and thus more easily negotiated by Stokes. He goes to 73 with a turn into the leg-side.

Not out! England 266/5 (74.3), B Stokes 72, B Foakes 48, Lungi Ngidi 1-36 (11.3)

14:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Stokes immediately showed the toe of his bat to umpire Richard Illingworth - he knew, and Nitin Menon does not require UltraEdge to confirm that there is a healthy chunk of bat on ball before Stokes is struck on the toe.

Clever bowling from Ngidi, though. He does bowl a couple of very deceptive slower variations that caused England all manner of problems during the white-ball leg of this tour. That looked like an off-cutter from deep in the hand.

England 266/5 (74.3), B Stokes 72, B Foakes 48, Lungi Ngidi 1-36 (11.3)

14:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Adventure! Two skips down and a lofted off-drive from Stokes, who restarts the scoring with a boundary.

Hang on! A brilliant slower ball from Ngidi and Stokes is given! He reviews straight away...

England 262/5 (74)

14:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

18 overs in the hour and England building steadily. The lead is 111, which won’t please the superstitious, but both Stokes and Foakes have looked calm and collected.

Six overs until the new ball - Dean Elgar tosses the ball to Lungi Ngidi, presumably giving Nortje a break before he and Rabada take up the charge with a fresh Dukes. Can Ngidi steal one before then?

England 262/5 (74), B Stokes 68, B Foakes 48, K Maharaj 0-42 (16)

14:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Twice Ben Stokes advances, Keshav Maharaj cleverly pushing the ball wide of off-stump and forcing the left-hander to reach for it. Stokes manages to get bat on ball both times, and continuing clear intent between the wickets enable him and Foakes to come back for a brace of twos.

An excellent first hour after lunch for England - it’s drinks.

England 257/5 (73), B Stokes 63, B Foakes 48, A Nortje 3-53 (14)

14:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A change of tactic from South Africa to Ben Foakes - two men back, a leg gully and a catching short midwicket, hoping to get the wicketkeeper to flap at Anrich Nortje.

Foakes takes on the shot, and doesn’t look entirely in control, but directs his pull down wide of that catcher to fine leg for one.

Stokes steals the strike with a sharp single to mid-on.

England 252/5 (72), B Stokes 59, B Foakes 47, K Maharaj 0-37 (15)

14:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Maharaj rips an excellent ball by Foakes’ planted bat, Kyle Verreynne claiming after a juggle but stifling his appeal.

England 252/5 (71.1), B Stokes 59, B Foakes 47, K Maharaj 0-37 (14.1)

14:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another quick shift on to the back foot from Ben Stokes, cutting a short ball from Maharaj away for three to take England’s lead into three figures.

England 249/5 (71), B Stokes 56, B Foakes 47, A Nortje 3-48 (13)

14:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A driven two through the covers and a single off the hip bring up the 100 partnership for England’s rhyming pair, who have played very competently.

South Africa are unhappy with the shape of this ball, with nine overs left until they can pluck a new one out of the box. Umpire Richard Illingworth dismissively tosses is back to Dean Elgar after showing the South Africa captain it still passes through those all-important rings. England 98 in front.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England 244/5 (70), B Stokes 52, B Foakes 46, K Maharaj 0-34 (14)

14:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Dean Elgar has now got a helmet on at silly point, but exits before the end of Keshav Maharaj’s over to shore up midwicket. Foakes clips two through midwicket in familiar style - 18 of the England wicketkeeper’s runs have come via that sort of flick today.

England 242-5 (69)

14:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A predictable switch of ends for Keshav Maharaj, bringing Simon Harmer’s 15-over spell without reward to a close.

England 242-5 (69), B Stokes 52, B Foakes 44, Anrich Nortje 3-43 (12)

14:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And he beats the bat of Stokes almost immediately! Around the wicket with significant nip away and nearly squaring up the batter, who chastises himself for letting his back shoulder come through slightly too much. His next attempt at a similar stroke is much better, with Nortje collecting in his follow through.

England 239-5 (68)

14:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Here he is - across Anrich Nortje’s face spreads a broad smile as Dean Elgar at last looks the way of his quick.

50 for Ben Stokes! England 239-5 (68), B Stokes 51, B Foakes 43, S Harmer 0-49 (16)

14:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Enough of the digging in - Ben Stokes with a merry gambol down the track and great hoist back over the head of Simon Harmer to bring up 50! An emphatic way to get there from his 101st ball, a second six to go with three fours in a nicely measured innings.

England 227-5 (67), B Stokes 41, B Foakes 41, K Maharaj 0-32 (13)

14:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A hint of a chance, maybe, as Foakes inside edges on to his pad, but the ball tumbles away out of the reach of Keegan Petersen at short leg. Another over without score - South Africa have dried England up, but you wonder how much that truly benefits them.

England 227-5 (66), B Stokes 41, B Foakes 41, S Harmer 0-37 (15)

14:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Six balls, six blocks, six dots - Ben Stokes secure in defence as South Africa hustle through their tenth over in the half-hour since lunch.

England 227-5 (65), B Stokes 41, B Foakes 41, K Maharaj 0-32 (12)

14:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A three:seven leg-side dominant field for the left-arm spinner Maharaj to Stokes, who rocks back and forces into the gaping extra cover space for a couple.

Elgar brings himself in tight for Foakes, no lid on the gritty South African captain as he squats slightly at silly point. He can’t provoke an error, though, as the partnership grows to 80.

England 224-5 (64), B Stokes 38, B Foakes 41, S Harmer 0-38 (14)

14:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Anrich Nortje is, literally, biting his tongue as Simon Harmer continues, with South Africa continuing to bowl spin at two batters who play the turning ball well.

Stokes treads a little gingerly on that sore left leg as he trots through for a single to long-off.

England 221-5 (63), B Stokes 36, B Foakes 40, K Maharaj 0-29 (11)

14:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Elgar continues to try to crowd Foakes and cut off his favoured midwicket scoring area, but this has been a knock of considered construct from the Surrey keeper, again picking a space to find the open pasture between the fielders and collect two.

England 219-5 (62), B Stokes 36, B Foakes 38, S Harmer 0-34 (13)

14:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Just the single fielder in tight for Stokes, now, as Dean Elgar tries to strike the right balance between allowing his spinners to attack and keeping the swelling lead down. It numbers 68 as Stokes inside edges one on to his thigh pad, the only moment of incident from Harmer’s third maiden of the day.

England 219-5 (61), B Stokes 36, B Foakes 38, K Maharaj 0-27 (10)

13:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Extra bounce for Maharaj, with Foakes struck on the top of the pad as he props forward to block. The bowler swaps his silly point to fine leg for his final ball at the right-handed batter, but Foakes is able to work fine of Keegan Petersen under the lid.

Anrich Nortje does not look particlarly pleased wandering around the boundary - surely Dean Elgar will have to throw the ball to him soon?

England 217-5 (60), B Stokes 35, B Foakes 37, S Harmer 0-34 (12)

13:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Sarel Erwee does superbly to get in the way of a crisp on-drive from a charging Stokes, saving at least a couple.

The left-hander is soon back on strike and has a huge heave at one that grips outside off, just about ensuring his back toe stays down as Kyle Verreynne knocks the bails off. Stokes yet to find his timing after lunch.

England 215-5 (59), B Stokes 34, B Foakes 36, K Maharaj 0-25 (9)

13:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Rassie van der Dussen remains absent from the field, still ailed by an injured finger, which could cause some problems for South Africa when they come to bat again.

Ben Foakes, silly point under his nose, works two through a gap at midwicket, content to play against the turn of Maharaj as the bowler just tosses one up slightly too straight.

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website