England remained in control at The Oval as Toby Roland-Jones completed his five-wicket haul on Test debut and Keaton Jennings rode his luck at the top of the order on a rain-interrupted third day.
Roland-Jones (five for 57) was unable to finish off South Africa’s first innings, from a start-of-play 126 for eight, in time for England to have the option of enforcing the follow-on as Temba Bavuma (52) extended the tourists’ recovery in the third Investec Test.
He did add one more success to his four on Friday, however, when Bavuma was last out in a total of 175 to give England a lead of 178.
Bavuma doesn't score big, but he's constantly contributing. He's a lot better than his average suggests.— Tom Sizeland (@sizers27) July 29, 2017
They then put on a further 74 for one second time round before forecast rain moved in by mid-afternoon and wiped out 59 scheduled overs – Jennings and Tom Westley, one of England’s two other debutants here, sharing an unbroken stand of 44 after the early departure of Alastair Cook.
Well, not quite for Keaton Jennings. But he could easily have gone at least three times as the edge of his bat, or lack of it, saved him against Vernon Philander and then Kagiso Rabada. There were increasingly some encouraging shots in the opener’s latest innings, however, as he arrested a sequence of just three runs in his previous three attempts.
“He’s only gone and done it!!!” – Middlesex congratulate one of their own, Toby Roland-Jones, on his five-wicket haul on Test debut.
Master nibbler Philander would surely have been a menace at the start of England’s second innings, had he not been laid low by his mystery stomach bug. A night in hospital on an intravenous drip aided his recovery sufficiently to bat at number 11 and then take the new ball too. Six wicketless overs for 30 suggest he is still far from rude health, however, and it was not long before he was seen trudging out of the action again.
11 – The running total for Alastair Cook’s dismissals to Morne Morkel after two out of two in this match.
Fair weather over the final two days ought to lead to an England victory and 2-1 advantage heading to Manchester on Friday.
(Provided by Press Association)
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