ENG vs SA 3rd Test: 17 wickets fall on the day as final England-South Africa Test hangs in the balance

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ENG vs SA 3rd Test: 17 wickets fall on the day as final England-South Africa Test hangs in the balance
ENG vs SA 3rd Test: 17 wickets fall on the day as final England-South Africa Test hangs in the balance

ENG vs SA 3rd Test: 17 wickets fall on the day as final England-South Africa Test hangs in the balance

ENG vs SA 3rd Test: The third Test at The Oval saw England dominate for the duration of the day, but South Africa fought back with wickets in the closing session to cut down on the home team’s lead. Ollie Robinson‘s third Test fifer and Stuart Broad’s four wickets helped England dismiss South Africa for 118 in what was actually a three-day Test after the first day was postponed due to rain and the second day was halted by the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Ollie Pope started England’s response with a rapid fifty, but on Saturday, September 10, at Stumps, quick wickets reduced the hosts to 154/7, leading by 36 runs. The best bowler for South Africa was Marco Jansen, who claimed a four-wicket haul.

With a top score of 30, Jansen made an early impact by dismissing both Alex Lees and Zak Crawley inside the first ten overs. However, England’s run rate remained strong courtesy to Pope and Joe Root, who combined for 11 fours throughout the prolonged second session. Especially with Kagiso Rabada not seeming in the best of rhythms as he gave up 49 runs in a six-over opening performance and overstepped numerous occasions, South Africa’s bowling lacked bite. As England scored at a remarkable pace of 5.25 in the 16 overs they faced before tea, Wiaan Mulder and Anrich Nortje also hit boundaries.

When Jansen got Root to edge to third slip in the first over of the final session, Root’s innings was done. Pope was joined by Harry Brook, who also started off with boundaries to help England get closer to the lead. However, Brook lost control of his pull off Jansen and fell shortly after a brief rain break.

Pope kept up his good work, scoring two more boundaries in a Rabada over before reaching his fifty in 62 balls with a top-edge over the keeper’s head off Jansen. However, South Africa made a comeback as Pope stole a Rabada delivery from the keeper and Nortje forced Ben Stokes to edge to first slip. Prior to early Stumps forced by bad light, Broad also fell to Rabada.

The pacers from England, led by Robinson, took advantage of the cloudy weather earlier in the day to build consistent gains. Dean Elgar bowled by Robinson in the day’s second over. In the opening period, keeper Ben Foakes made a total of four catches after Sarel Erwee outside edged an Anderson delivery to him. As South Africa dropped to 36 for 6, Keegan Petersen bowled shouldering arms to Robinson, Ryan Rickelton caught behind by Broad, Kyle Verreynne and Mulder both fell to Robinson edging behind.

When Broad believed he had Jansen caught behind and then engaged in a leg-before appeal against Khaya Zondo, England lost a pair of reviews. The combination at the seventh wicket did manage to contain the damage. After putting together a 36-run stand that ended after lunch when Zondo caught at gully by Broad. Jansen and Keshav Maharaj then put up 27 runs together. Before Jansen edged into first slip and became Robinson’s fifth victim. Broad eliminated Nortje and Maharaj to leave himself with four.

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.