Alex Hales may have caused injuries to a man who was later knocked unconscious by England team-mate Ben Stokes, a court has heard.
Stokes, 27, has insisted he was acting in self-defence when he hit Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 27, after they had abused two men near a nightclub in Bristol.
Bristol Crown Court heard that the precise start to the violence is unknown but Ali, who is on trial alongside Stokes accused of affray, swung a beer bottle at Mr Hales.
Ali then delivered a glancing blow to the shoulder of Kai Barry, a man who was out with friend William O’Connor in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol in the early hours of September 25 last year.
Stokes is accused of knocking Ali to the floor, with fellow cricketer Mr Hales then apparently kicking his head and stamping on him as he lay on the ground.
The all-rounder is said to have knocked Mr Hale unconscious before doing the same to Ali a short time later.
Ali suffered a fracture to the medial orbital wall on the left hand side of his face, with swelling on his left eye and a laceration above his eyebrow, a cracked lower left molar and a bruise behind his left ear.
Jurors have been told that Mr Hales was interviewed under caution but not arrested or charged in connection with the incident.
Gordon Cole QC, representing Stokes, questioned whether his client had caused all of the injuries sustained by Ali given Mr Hales’ alleged involvement.
He asked the jury to carefully consider footage taken by student Max Wilson, who began filming from his bedroom window after hearing shouting from the street below.
“This is not part of me seeking to blame someone else,” Mr Cole told the jury in his closing speech for Stokes’ defence.
“You saw the footage. You will remember when Mr Stephen Mooney (barrister for Mr Hale) was here that he made reference to Alex Hales coming into the fray.
“You will see Mr Hales on one occasion appearing to kick.
“So, when the prosecution seeks to hang all the blame at Ben Stokes’ door by saying he rendered people unconscious, just look at what happened.
“Think about kicks and stamps. There’s no evidence before you – and I’m not suggesting for one minute that you should guess – but you can infer from what you know of injuries that were sustained.
“Sustained perhaps by Alex Hales’ intervention? Blows, kicks and or stamps to the head area.
“Does it follow that all of these injuries are properly attributed to Ben Stokes? We say no. We say that the evidence is ambiguous. We say how do you resolve that?”
Mr Cole pointed out that prosecutors charged Stokes, Mr Hale and Ali with affray and not assault.
Last week, the jury acquitted Mr Hale of the charge after Judge Peter Blair QC, the Recorder of Bristol, ruled there was insufficient evidence against him.
“It is not part of my job to prosecute Mr Hale, or Alex Hales. That is common sense. But it’s where we are now,” Mr Cole said.
The jury of six men and six women have been told Stokes and Mr Hales went to the Mbargo nightclub in Bristol, where they had been drinking earlier in the evening, in the early hours of September 25.
Stokes is alleged to have been aggressive towards doorman Andrew Cunningham, who refused the two cricketers entry as it was after 2am, by insulting his gold teeth and tattoos.
He is said to have mocked two men, Kai Barry and William O’Connor, outside the nightclub. They walked off with Mr Hale and Ali.
Giving evidence, Stokes told the jury he intervened after hearing Mr Hale and Ali launch homophobic abuse towards Mr Barry and Mr O’Connor on a street near the nightclub – with Ali threatening him with a bottle in return.
He insisted he was acting in self-defence and in defence of Mr Hales, Mr Barry and Mr O’Connor at all times and admitted throwing a number of punches at Ali and Mr Hale.
Mr Cole asked the jury: “Is this man getting special treatment because of who he is? Is this man being focused on because of who he is?”
But Nicholas Corsellis, prosecuting, told the jury that the case was focused on Stokes as there was more evidence relating to him.
“I’m not targeting him at all,” he told the jury.
“I seek to deal with both defendants as fairly as possible but more of the evidence focuses on Mr Stokes.”
Stokes, of Stockton Road, Castle Eden, Durham, and Ali, of Forest Road, Bristol, each deny a charge of affray.
The trial continues.
It was a brilliant all-round effort from England and a shoddy effort from the No1 Test team in the world.
Here we rate players from both sides after the hosts’ thumping win.
Joe Root – 6
The captain did everything he was supposed to. He won the toss and bowled first in perfect seaming conditions. Root picked an extra seamer in Chris Woakes and resisted the temptation of fielding an extra spinner. He wasn’t at his best with the bat but admittedly got out to an unplayable ball. A good match. Did drop one catch in slip through.
Alastair Cook – 5
Scored 21 from 25 balls before getting a beauty from Ishant Sharma. Was safe in the field as well. Did not get another chance to get among the runs but looks like getting the confidence in his overall game back and should make an impact in upcoming Tests.
Keaton Jennings – 4
Did not have much to do in the Test. Made 11 runs and took one catch. But being part of such a thumping win will help Jennings assert himself in the next Test as he looked in fine touch in the first. The Indian bowlers must be deflated and Jennings can cash in.
Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes are reflections of a genuine allrounder. Where does Hardik Pandya figure in all this? #IndVEng— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) August 11, 2018
Ollie Pope – 6
Looked in control as long as he was at the crease during 28 on debut. Looked at ease at the highest level and even managed to run Cheteshwar Pujara out in the first innings, followed by a fine diving catch at short leg of Virat Kohli in the second. A memorable debut.
Jonny Bairstow – 8
The keeper has looked the most dominating batsman on either side. His stance is oozing confidence and his 93 in the first innings when England were 131-5, along with his 70 in Birmingham, have been critical in helping England gain the upper hand. Arguably the most important cog of the hosts’ wheel.
Jos Buttler – 5
Would have had one more point but dropped two chances in the first innings. His batting (24 from 22 balls) looked a bit too forced in the first innings, which means he is not yet settled in his mind. But he is too good a player to not figure things out by the next Test.
Chris Woakes – 9
Four wickets in the Test – including Kohli in the first innings – followed by a match-winning unbeaten ton when the team is down. And that too at the Home of Cricket while coming in for the unavailable Ben Stokes. Talk about making a statement. Brilliant effort all round.
Sam Curran – 6
Did well with the bat once again, scoring 40 runs. With the ball, moved the red cherry in both innings and was unlucky to not bag a handful of wickets. The Indians started to play him with a bit more freedom, however, which can become an issue.
Adil Rashid – n/a
Did not bowl a single ball and did not get to bat.
Stuart Broad – 8
Looked absolutely deadly in the second innings. Troubled Kohli no end and the Indian batsmen could barely get bat to ball. Silenced his critics who thought he might get dropped if Stokes gets a chance to return to the team. Four wickets in the second innings could have been a lot more.
James Anderson – 9
Nine top class wickets in the Test for one of the all-time greats. Made every ball pose serious questions as Indian batsmen surrendered even before the ball left his fingers. Showed immaculate control of swing and line to come up with a match-winning effort in both innings.
Murali Vijay – 1
Bagged a pair at Lord’s. Anderson got him in both innings but the Indian opener should have come up with something different. Overcoming challenges is what Test cricket is all about and Vijay had no answers to Anderson’s swing.
KL Rahul – 1
Looks very loose against the moving ball even though on paper looks well-organised. Has the tendency to fall over or reach out to deliveries – a strict no-no in English conditions. Will have to come up with a radically different strategy, if he gets another chance.
Cheteshwar Pujara – 4
Was run out by Kohli in the first innings and survived 87 balls in the second innings. But once again, not much in the results section. Pujara puts in a lot of effort for not much runs, but it was that sort of a test where even a century by him might not have been enough.
Virat Kohli – 4
Would have received lesser points but battled back pain to bat in the second innings, showing courage. Made a poor selection decision by picking Kuldeep Yadav, ran Pujara out, got his own review wrong despite getting a glove to Broad and scored 23 and 17. An ordinary match.
Ajinkya Rahane – 3
Got starts in both innings. But his habit of fishing outside off stump is a major flaw and can’t be overlooked for long. Needs to deliver now or India might be tempted to field the next crop of batsmen.
Hardik Pandya – 5
Again reached double digits in both innings and picked up three wickets. His performance is nowhere near as effective as that of Stokes or Woakes but can’t fault him for not trying hard enough. However, far from Test-winning quality.
Dinesh Karthik – 2
The wicketkeeper looked absolutely clueless against the moving ball and struggled to gather the ball cleanly. Gave 11 byes in England’s innings. Wriddhiman Saha was sorely missed by India. Made one and a first-ball duck.
Ravi Ashwin – 5
Tried everything he could and batted with a lot of surety. Top scorer for India in both innings with 29 and 33 not out. Should earn a promotion in the batting order. Bowling has looked reliable with the flight and loop still there.
Kuldeep Yadav – 1
Two ducks and nine ineffective and wicketless overs. Even Kuldeep must be wondering what was he doing in the Indian team. Looked completely out of place and it was a mistake to field him in the Test.
Mohammed Shami – 6
Tried his best with the ball. Took three wickets and had created an opening in the first innings when he had England five down. But leaked runs at four an over and that isn’t good if you are a Test fast bowler.
Ishant Sharma – 4
Looked threatening but once again erred in lengths as numerous balls went over the stumps or hit the batsmen too high to get an lbw decision. There was enough juice in the pitch to help Ishant but he could only manage one scalp at over four an over.
England’s 36-year-old all-time leading wicket-taker was pipped for the man-of-the-match award by Chris Woakes – whose comeback maiden century put the hosts on the way to a 2-0 series lead.
But after Anderson finished with match figures of nine for 43 in a superlative all-round bowling performance which also included star turns from Stuart Broad and Woakes, captain Root made no secret of his delight to have such skills at his disposal.
England prevailed by an innings and 159 runs on the fourth evening of a rain-ravaged match, as India were bowled out for 130 – and Anderson and Broad shared figures of eight for 67.
Asked about evergreen record-breaker Anderson, Root said: “He’s a special, special commodity, isn’t he?
“He’s something that doesn’t come along very often, and we’ve got to enjoy him while he’s around. Time and again, he puts in fantastic performances. For him to be performing as he is, is something else.”
Anderson, who has become the first bowler ever to take 100 Test wickets at Lord’s, is showing no signs of stopping any time soon.
“There’s been chat about his longevity, but at the minute he’s bowling better than he ever has,” added Root. “Even though the conditions suited you’ve still got to ask the right questions of the batters. Throughout the whole game he did just that.”
Root warns, however, England must not assume their world number one visitors are washed-up in a hectic five-match series which will resume at Trent Bridge on Saturday.
“India are doing everything they can, but…we’ve given them nothing. I don’t see any lack of fight, or lack of trying (from them). Obviously, it would be a dream to put in five complete performances and have five wins. But it’s important we don’t get complacent, arrogant…
“If you get too far ahead of yourself, this game has got a funny way of biting back at you.”
England surged to victory without their premier all-rounder Ben Stokes, whose return in Nottingham is unknown as his court case on a charge of affray continues in Bristol.
“Ben is obviously a huge part of this squad, so it’s a miss him not being here this week,” said Root.
“But what it did was create an opportunity for Chris to come in and perform – and boy, he didn’t disappoint did he? He was outstanding. That’s something we really want to harness as an example to the guys in and around the squad – ‘when you get your chance, make it as hard as possible to leave you out’.
“It’s a great headache to have for us, going into next week.”