LONDON: Keaton Jennings rode his luck and Tom Westley played another encouraging innings to leave England well-placed at tea on a rain-marred third day of the third Test against South Africa at The Oval on Saturday.
England were 74 for one in their second innings, a lead of 252 runs, after yet more bad weather in the 100th Test at The Oval meant only 16.2 overs were possible between lunch and tea.
South Africa-born opener Jennings was 34 not out and Westley, one of three debutants in England’s XI, unbeaten on 28.
But the under-pressure Jennings, out for nought in the first innings, nearly fell cheaply again to another slip catch by Dean Elgar off Vernon Philander when he edged the paceman on six only for the sharp chance to be dropped on this occasion.
Earlier, South Africa avoided the follow-on thanks mainly to middle-order batsman Temba Bavuma.
His gutsy 52 was the cornerstone of the Proteas’ 175 all out.
That left then 178 runs behind England’s first innings 353, which featured Ben Stokes’s 112 and former captain Alastair Cook’s 88.
Toby Roland-Jones, who’d removed all of South Africa’s top four in a sensational debut bowling effort on Friday, eventually had Bavuma caught behind to end the innings.
Middlesex seamer Roland-Jones finished with figures of five for 57 in 16.4 overs to become just the sixth England cricketer to take five or more wickets in their debut bowling innings in Test match cricket.
South Africa resumed on 126 for eight, still 28 runs shy of avoiding the follow-on.
Bavuma was 34 not out and Morne Morkel unbeaten on two, with this four-match series in the balance at 1-1 and the continued overcast conditions again favouring the faster bowlers. – AFP
Story first published: 29th July 2017