3rd Test, Day 3: England hold a slim advantage over South Africa at stumps

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3rd Test, Day 3: England hold a slim advantage over South Africa at stumps
 

The Oval: Ollie Robinson’s five-wicket haul (5/49) and Ollie Pope’s fifty (67) helped England take slim advantage over South Africa at the end of day three of the third and final Test despite the fight back by visitors bowlers, here on Saturday.

After bowling out South Africa for 118 in their first innings, England were 154-7 at stumps on Day 3, leading by 36 runs with Ben Foakes (11) and Ollie Robinson (3) unbeaten at the crease.

With the first day being washed out and the second day getting suspended, the third and final Test finally kicked off on Day 3 and it was the England bowlers who stamped their authority.

Ollie Robinson drew the first blood by disturbing the stumps of South Africa skipper Dean Elgar in the second over of the game. In the very next over, Sarel Erwee was done by the late movement produced by James Anderson, edging the ball to the gloves of Ben Foakes for a four-ball duck.

Robinson continued to trouble the South African batters, with Keegan Petersen his next victim. Stuart Broad got in on the act in his very first over, luring Ryan Rickelton into a drive and into the safe hands of Foakes. The wicketkeeper was in action three balls later when Robinson found the outside edge of Kyle Verreynne.

Robinson and Foakes combined again to dismiss Wiaan Mulder with an enticing ball outside off. With just 36 runs on board, the Proteas had lost half their side.

The sixth-wicket pair of Khaya Zondo and Marco Jansen added as many runs as the first five wickets did, doubling South Africa’s score with a 36-run stand. They took South Africa safely to lunch without losing any further wickets at 69/6.

But England came back strongly in the second session, breaking the partnership in the first over after lunch. Broad did Zondo with a surprise short ball to expose the tail.

The rest of the batting did not provide much resistance and folded for 118. Robinson scalped Jansen to complete his five-for while Broad picked up the wickets of Keshav Maharaj and Anrich Nortje to complete his four-wicket haul.

In reply, Alex Lees’ 13-run cameo off 6 balls got England’s innings off and running before he was trapped in front of the stumps by Marco Jansen. The South African pacers were awry in their lines and lengths and were punished by Ollie Pope, who found the boundaries with ease.

Jansen got yet another batter trapped leg before wicket, with Zak Crawley departing after his cautious stay at the crease. Pope and Joe Root put on a quick 41-run stand that came off just 47 balls. It took a stunning catch from Petersen to bring an end to Root’s innings, with Jansen once again getting the wicket for the Proteas.

Thereafter, South Africa made the most of the short rain break and scalped the wickets of debutant Harry Brook and captain Ben Stokes. Between the two wickets, Pope got to his ninth Test fifty but fell soon after for 67.

Rabada claimed the wicket of Broad in what turned out to be the final over of the day after bad light forced early stumps on day three.

Brief scores: South Africa 118 (Marco Jansen 30; Ollie Robinson 5-49, Stuart Broad 4-41) trail England 154/7 (Ollie Pope 67; Marco Jansen 4-34, Kagiso Rabada 2-78) by 36 runs.


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