England’s World Cup star Ben Stokes set a unique record when he took five catches of South African players, to become the first in his country to achieve the feat, excluding wicket-keepers.
After 142 of England’s first-ever Test match against Australia in 1877, the all-rounder set a record when he caught Anrich Nortje off the bowling of James Anderson on the third day of the second Test against the Proteas at Newlands on Sunday (December 5).
Interestingly, all the catches held by him were at the second slip position.
Stokes’ record makes him the 12th cricketer in the world to reach the milestone after Australia’s Viv Richards started the historic movement in 1936 against South Africa.
In England’s previous 1019 Test matches, there had been 23 instances of four catches in an innings, most recently by England captain Joe Root against Ireland at Lord’s last year.
Stokes equalled the world Test record of five catches, which had been achieved 11 times previously, most recently by Steve Smith of Australia in 2017/18, also at Newlands.
On the same occasion, James Anderson clinched the 28th five-wicket Test haul when he finished at 5/40.
Anderson with his electrifying bowling spell surpassed India’s Ravichandran Ashwin (27) and England’s Ian Botham (27) to jump to the eighth position in the list of bowlers having most five-wicket hauls in the longest format.
Former Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan still stands strong as he has taken five wickets 67 times in 133 Test matches.
(With inputs from agencies)