ENG vs SA: Zak Crawley, Alex Lees propel England towards victory in third test

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ENG vs SA: Zak Crawley, Alex Lees propel England towards victory in third test
ENG vs SA: Zak Crawley, Alex Lees propel England towards victory in third test

ENG vs SA: Zak Crawley, Alex Lees propel England towards victory in third test

ENG vs SA: Openers Alex Lees and Zak Crawley steered England to the brink of victory over South Africa in the decisive third test at The Oval as the home side reached 97 without loss chasing a modest 130 before bad light intervened on the fourth day on Sunday.

Following a disappointing series, both batsmen entered the test under pressure. However, Crawley sped to 57 off 44 balls with some commanding strokes, and Lees is undefeated on 32.

With a legal chance to score off Kagiso Rabada’s opening pitch, the latter was dropped by Marco Jansen at fourth slip, and England took advantage of their good fortune to win the series.

South Africa’s fight in the tough series died away as they appeared tired on the pitch and missed two opportunities to eliminate Crawley.

After ending play early on Saturday when it appeared that the circumstances were bright enough to continue, the umpires removed the players from the field with 50 minutes of play remaining.

“It was a great day for us, I thought we bowled really well throughout the day,” England seamer James Anderson told Sky Sports.

“We stuck at our task and kept picking up wickets to put us in a great position.

“Then Alex and Zak came out and played exactly how the coach and captain have asked them to play throughout the series and the summer.

“It is frustrating from our point of view (to go off for bad light), the rate we were scoring at it might have only needed five or six more overs and with a good crowd in here it would have been nice to finish it off.”

On Monday, the fifth day of a test that only saw the first ball thrown on Saturday, England will return to finish the job.

Rain washed out Thursday’s play, while Friday was postponed out of respect for Queen Elizabeth II.

Earlier, England’s seamers bowled South Africa out for 169 in their second innings. They did this by masterfully utilising the available swing and seam.

Dean Elgar, the captain of South Africa, hit the most runs with 36, but Stuart Broad (3-45), Ben Stokes (3-39), James Anderson (2-37), and Ollie Robinson (2-40) excelled in getting help from the wicket.

After starting the day with a score of 154-7 in their first innings, England lost their final three wickets within the span of 13 minutes, scoring only four more runs, thanks to Jansen’s career-high figures of 5-35.

In all, 30 wickets have fallen in six sessions.