Rain washes out most of day’s play to help SA’s cause against England

Rain impeded England’s progress and helped South Africa in the third test at The Oval on Saturday.

Play was halted almost an hour-and-a-half before the scheduled tea interval, which came with the home side 74/1 in their second innings for a lead of 252, and never resumed.

England scored 353 in their first innings and dismissed South Africa for 175 with debutant Toby Roland-Jones taking 5/57.

Keaton Jennings was 34 not out with Tom Westley on 28, but Jennings was lucky to be there.

He would have been out for six had Dean Elgar at third slip been able to hang onto a chance earned by Vernon Philander, who had spent Friday night on a drip on hospital battling a virus.

Morne Morkel struck the first blow when he trimmed Alastair Cook’s off-stump with a superb angled delivery to the left-hander that straightened after pitching, bowling him for seven.

Temba Bavuma and Morkel ensured South Africa averted the prospect of following on, a goal that was 27 runs away when the visitors resumed on 126/8.

It was accomplished with the ninth ball of the day, which was bowled by Stuart Broad and put away through the covers for four by Bavuma.

Morkel’s flinty effort was snuffed out at 17 when he edged James Anderson to first slip to put paid a useful partnership of 47.

Philander joined Bavuma to score an unbeaten 10 before Bavuma was caught behind off Roland-Jones to end the innings.

Bavuma batted for more than three hours and faced 120 balls for his 52, an innings that started after South Africa had been reduced to 47/4 on their way to 61/7. It was his ninth half-century and his fifth in a fighting cause.

Roland-Jones is the first man to take five wickets for England on his test debut since leg spinner Adil Rashid claimed 5/64 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in October 2015.

Not since James Kirtley took 6/34 against South Africa at Trent Bridge in August 2003 has a bowler taken more wickets for England in his first test.

– TimesLIVE

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