South Africa v England: Ollie Pope and Ben Stokes hit hundreds in Port Elizabeth

Ollie Pope hit 18 fours and a six in his unbeaten 135
Third Test, Port Elizabeth, (day two of five):
England 499-9 declared: Pope 135*, Stokes 120; Maharaj 5-180
South Africa 60-2: Bess 2-12
England lead by 439 runs

Ollie Pope struck his first of what will surely be many Test centuries and Ben Stokes cracked a hundred of his own to put England in a dominant position on day two of the third Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth.

Pope dazzled for 135 not out, at 22 years and 15 days becoming the youngest player to make a maiden Test hundred for England since Alastair Cook in 2006.

Stokes continued his stellar form for 120 to take the tourists to 499-9 declared – the first time England have made more than 400 batting first for over two years.

The fifth-wicket pair extended their overnight partnership to 203, crushing the spirit of the South African attack.

Sam Curran and Mark Wood took advantage, Curran adding a breezy 44 and Wood swinging his way to 42 from only 23 deliveries, including five sixes.

After England declared, off-spinner Dom Bess exploited the turn on offer, removing both Pieter Malan and Zubayr Hamza to leave the Proteas 60-2, 439 behind.

Bad light and rain closed in with eight overs remaining, denying England the chance to make further inroads, but they still have a golden opportunity to go 2-1 up with one Test to play.

Even with the surface remaining good for batting, England have the advantage of scoreboard pressure and the weapon of…

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