England are in a great position to level their series against South Africa as century heroics from Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes has put them 241 runs ahead at Old Trafford (Match betting – England 1/14, Draw 25/1, South Africa 12/1).

The hosts began the day in a good position on 111-3, only 40 runs behind South Africa who posted a very disappointing total of 151 from the first innings – failing to build upon the confidence-boosting innings and 12-run victory at Lord’s.

Jonny Bairstow, the in-form man from the summer, fell for 49 while Zak Crawley was dismissed for 38 – Anrich Nortje adding to his tally after bowling out Ollie Pope on Thursday.

Latest Cricket Events

Up stepped Stokes and he showed once again what a class act he is with the bat in a magnificent 106 stand.

Since assuming the captaincy role, others have overshadowed him in terms of batting but the Durham all-rounder classily batted away South Africa’s attack to score his first century as skipper.

His partnership with Foakes – a sixth-wicket stand of 173 – has given England total control of the second Test.

Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson and Jack Leach ably assisted with totals of 21, 17, and 11 before England declared on 415-9 with Foakes not out – scoring just his second Test century.

South Africa ended the day with the bat and crucially did not lose any wickets before close of play with the Proteas on 23 without loss.

Foakes says he was thrilled to score a century and admits it was hard work against the South African bowlers.

“It feels amazing. It’s a bit of relief but overjoyed to get a Test hundred,” the wicketkeeper said. “I got one in my first game and then I’ve had a little bit of a wait and I realised how hard they are to come by. I think I celebrated this one a bit more.

“It’s such a great opportunity to play for England and you want to contribute as much as possible. When you go through lean patches, when you get runs, it makes it even more special.”

Cricket Betting Odds