ENG vs SA 3rd Test: Zak Crawley leads England home to complete South African series win
ENG vs SA 3rd Test: Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope steered England to an impressive nine-wicket victory over South Africa at The Oval on Monday to complete a 2-1 series victory and put the seal on an astonishing turnaround in fortunes for the home team this year.
England started the day with a score of 97-0 and needed 33 more points to win. They added those points in 27 minutes despite losing Alex Lees for 39. Pope was still unbeaten at 11 as Crawley concluded with a score of 69.
Following a dreadful run that saw only one win from the previous 17 Tests and resulted in the appointment of Ben Stokes as captain in lieu of Joe Root, the victory gave it six wins from seven Tests this summer. These victories came after a 3-0 defeat of New Zealand and a victory over India.
On Sunday’s fourth day of play, England had reached 97 in pursuit of 130, with Crawley racing to a stunning 57 and Lees, who had been dropped from the first ball of the innings, on 32, when poor lighting ended play.
We win the last Test by 9 wickets and claim a 2-1 series victory. pic.twitter.com/oH45xTIUf2
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 12, 2022
In stark contrast to Sunday, when a full audience was treated to an extraordinary day of action, a modest but healthy crowd on Monday took advantage of free admittance to observe the last rites.
The two openers had maintained England’s aggressive approach on Sunday to essentially make the game safe. Despite being under a lot of strain after repeatedly failing to establish any kind of platform this year.
On Monday, the 18th over of the game, the 100-run partnership was broken in the first over, setting a record for England’s quickest first-wicket partnerships.
However, after being dropped twice in the slips in the opening two overs of the day, Lees was out. When a review overruled the umpire’s call, and he was bowled by Kagiso Rabada for 39 in the third over.
However, Crawley ended the game with a brilliant back foot cover drive to the boundary. Ending any further worries and greatly boosting his own self-confidence.
After Thursday’s play was halted by rain and Friday was postponed out of respect for Queen Elizabeth. It was the third time in a row that the Test had actually lasted fewer than three days.
The inexperienced South African batting team failed to counteract England’s swinging seam assault on Sunday. After falling from a promising start to 169 all out, which gave the initiative to the hosts.