Dominant England frustrated by Oval rain


Rain held up England on day three of the third Test with South Africa at The Oval, but there were much-needed runs for Keaton Jennings before play was brought to a premature close with the hosts in command.

Only 37 overs were bowled on Saturday, the evening session totally washed out as clouds gathered over south London.

Under-pressure opener Jennings rode his luck to reach 34 not out, helping England - who dismissed South Africa for 175 on the third morning with Toby Roland-Jones completing a five-wicket haul on debut - move to 74-1 in their second innings for a lead of 252.

Tom Westley, another England newcomer, was far more assured in compiling an unbeaten 28 and Joe Root's men will now hope to set South Africa a stiff target on day four, when the forecast is more positive.

Having slumped to 61-7 at one point on Friday, South Africa resumed on 126-8 and added 49 to that total thanks largely to Temba Bavuma (52) and Morne Morkel (17).

The ninth-wicket duo took a partnership worth 12 overnight to 47 before Morkel edged James Anderson to Alastair Cook at first slip.

Bavuma's defiant knock was then brought to an end by Roland-Jones, who induced a nick behind to finish with 5-57 and a place on the honours board at The Oval.

All eyes were on Jennings at the start of England's second dig, the opener in need of a substantial contribution after a first-innings duck continued his run of low scores.

Despite showing a willingness to get forward more to Vernon Philander, who was on and off the field on Saturday having been troubled by illness the previous day, Jennings still endured a number of nervy moments.

The left-hander saw an edge off Philander fly past Dean Elgar at third slip when he had six to his name and was later adjudged lbw to Kagiso Rabada for 33, only for the decision to be overturned on review due to the ball pitching outside leg stump.

In contrast to Jennings, Westley appeared largely comfortable after being brought to crease when the excellent Morkel bowled Cook (7).

Timing the ball sweetly, Westley collected 24 of his 28 runs in boundaries during an encouraging innings he will hope to significantly extend on Sunday.