Stokes leads England to Windies Test win

Ben Stokes' masterclass in the second Test victory over the West Indies has convinced England captain Joe Root that sky was the limit for "Mr Incredible".

BEN STOKES of England.
BEN STOKES of England. Picture: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Whatever the format, whatever the circumstances, Ben Stokes continues to deliver match-winning performances for England's cricket team.

The latest masterclass by the swashbuckling allrounder has taken the battle for the Wisden Trophy against the West Indies to a decider.

Stokes delivered crucial contributions with bat and ball to lead England to a 113-run win late on the final day of the second Test, tying the three-match series at 1-1 on Monday and earning him the nickname "Mr. Incredible" by his captain.

Having already put England in charge of the test after a patient 176 in the first innings, Stokes transitioned to limited-overs mode to smash an unbeaten 78 off 57 balls early on day five, allowing England to declare after 11 overs on 129-3 and set the West Indies an unlikely victory target of 312.

England's World Cup hero from last year made the huge breakthrough just before tea as Jermaine Blackwood (55) gloved a ball down the legside to diving wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, igniting England's charge to victory.

With 14.5 overs - or one hour - left of a test played at an empty Old Trafford because of the coronavirus pandemic, the West Indies were dismissed for 198.

"Everyone understands that we are watching a player at the peak of his powers, at the peak of world cricket, who is delivering time and time again," England captain Joe Root said.

"He just seems to get better and better. I feel lucky, I don't know what else to say. We have to savour that, appreciate that, and we have to understand that we are - without wanting to pump his tires too much - in the presence of greatness."

Stokes has 343 runs already in this series, at 114.33, along with nine wickets heading into the third Test that starts on Friday and will also be in Manchester.

"It's a case of doing what's needed at the time," he said.

"We want to pave the way for England cricketers in 20 years' time. It's not all about the present, it's about taking the cap forward ... We've a duty to win games but also to youngsters who want to aspire to be like us."

England wrapped up victory with big bowling performances over the last two days, after a full day - on Saturday - lost to rain in Manchester.

"I'm a little disappointed with the way we batted," West Indies captain Jason Holder said.

"It's all to play for. This is the perfect return to cricket."

England will likely freshen up their attack for the third Test, with James Anderson, Mark Wood and Jofra Archer pushing for recalls, but Stuart Broad staked a claim to stay in the team by claiming three wickets in each of the West Indies' innings.

This is the first series of international cricket since the return of the sport after a four-month shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.