Ollie Robinson returned his best England figures before South Africa came back in the third and deciding Test at the Oval on Saturday after cricket paid its respects to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. Sussex seamer Robinson took 5-49 in 14 overs, his third innings from five wicket innings in 11 career tests, as South Africa was sacked for just 118. Veteran who quickly enjoyed Stuart Broad’s return of 4-41. Another extraordinary third day – but the first active in the match – ended with England 154-7, a lead of just 36 runs.
South Africa’s speedy left-armed Marco Jansen, who had scored 30 in the Proteas’ meager total after being unhappily omitted from the second Test, eliminated England’s top four when he took 4-34 in 11 overs.
Then fast bowler Kagiso Rabada captured the main wicket from Ollie Pope, who fell for 67 at his home ground in Surrey.
Pope shielded a good length ball outside the stump and was caught behind – to his apparent horror – when a sparkling 77-ball innings with 52 runs in the boundaries ended in a tame fashion.
Surrey and England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, fresh off his unbeaten hundred in the second Test at Old Trafford, was 11 not out. Robinson was unbeaten on three when poor light ended the game just over half an hour before the scheduled closing time of 1800 GMT, even though the floodlights were on.
Opening day was washed out without a ball being pitched and there was no play on Friday after the death of Britain’s longest-serving monarch on Thursday, leaving three days.
But South Africa defeated England by an innings and 12 runs at Lord’s in three days before the hosts were as quick as they won the second Test in Manchester by an innings and 85 runs.
Stokes had won the toss on Thursday and chose to bowl first and Saturday’s cloudy conditions favored the bowlers.
Minute of silence
After a minute of silence in memory of the Queen, with the first rendition at a major sporting event during the reign of Charles III of ‘God Save the King’, South Africa’s longstanding problems of the highest order became apparent once again.
South Africa captain Dean Elgar, the most experienced batsman on his team, was thrown between bat and pad for just once by a fine throw from Robinson.
England great James Anderson left Sarel Erwee, Elgar’s opening partner, for a duck, with South Africa dropping to 32-5 in the first hour.
But Khaya Zondo responded to a desperate situation in his first innings of the Test by taking out spinner Jack Leach for six.
Together with Jansen, he doubled the score from 36-6 to 72-7.
Zondo, however, was out for 23 in the first over after lunch, fending off a lifting Broad delivery
Jansen was dropped twice in one Broad before coming to Joe Root on the first slip.
England had their own hitting problems and the towering Jansen cleared the struggling opening pair of Alex Lees (13), thrown between bat and pad, and Zak Crawley (five), lbw for an inswinger.
The hosts’ 84-2 at tea quickly turned 84-3 when Root, chasing a wide Jansen delivery, was caught brilliantly by Keegan Petersen on the third slip for 23 – the star batsman’s first double-digit score. series.
Brook, a team-mate of Root in Yorkshire, came out in style by covering Jansen for four hours, before the rain halted play for 30 minutes. The 23-year-old hadn’t added up his score of 12 as he carelessly hoisted Jansen on a long leg to Rabada.
Stokes, who was close to five, fell to six when he caught an extravagant drive from fast bowler Anrich Nortje to slip the first.
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