Ollie Robinson and Ollie Pope propelled England into a useful position in the third Test after an extraordinary, wicket-laden and emotional day three at the Kia Oval.
After waving tributes before playing to commemorate the Queen, Robinson harnessed just enough movement to win a Test-best five for 49 that left South Africa all for a measly 118 in just 36.2 overs.
Wickets also fell in England’s response as they pushed the throttle, although Pope’s brilliant 67 from 77 balls, with 13 fours, took the hosts to 154 for seven before the bad light hit. ends early in the day.
Marco Jansen was South Africa’s top scorer in innings with 30 – one of only two players on tour to reach 20 – before his four for 34 caught England, and with the Proteas just 36 , they remain firmly in the hunt.
Yours, Mr. Robinson
It has been a turbulent past few months for Robinson, with well-publicized fitness and injury troubles threatening to overshadow what has been a strong start to his Test career. On the pitch, at least, he continues to thrive. Although he lacks express pace, his accuracy is unerring and has left a number of South African batters in and out of the way. Only New Zealander Kyle Jamieson has a lower bowling Test average than Robinson of 19.79 among active international cricketers, with a minimum of 2,000 deliveries bowled.
Wide level with McGrath
While Robinson grabbed the headlines with an exemplary display in admittedly useful conditions, England were also grateful for Stuart Broad’s four for 41 – who moved the veteran fast bowler level on 563 wickets alongside the great Australian Glenn McGrath. Only longtime teammate James Anderson, with 665 kills in 175 Tests, is ahead of the pair for most Test wickets by a fast bowler.
Surrey Charity Offering
Testing that extended to a fifth day this summer has generally been free to fans, with counties that have taken this approach earning rave reviews. Although Surrey differs in strategy, they revealed that all proceeds from ticket sales on day five – assuming it’s not over on Sunday – will be donated to charity and split equally between Chance to Shine, Lambeth Food Bank Trust, Sport United Against Dementia and the Surrey Cricket Foundation.
View from the dressing room
Robinson admitted England let South Africa off the hook after a great start.
And then ?
England will look to build their advantage and the extent of their lead in the first inning will likely fall on the shoulders of Ben Foakes, unbeaten on 11 overnight and the last recognized hitter remaining. However, given Saturday’s accelerated events, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if the test didn’t even extend to a third day.