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England set SA towering target to win third test

30 July 2017 - 17:11 By TELFORD VICE
England's Toby Roland-Jones in action.
England's Toby Roland-Jones in action.
Image: Reuters

London — South Africa took six wickets in a session but England piled on problems for the visitors in the third test at The Oval on Sunday.

England declared their second innings closed on 313-8 at tea on the fourth day to set South Africa a towering target of 492.

An England victory will mean South Africa will have to win the fourth test in Manchester to claim a share of the series.

The good news for South Africa’s batsmen is that the pitch has shown few signs of deterioration.

But the continued cloud cover is likely to mean the bowlers will enjoy more assistance from the conditions.

England resumed on 74/1, and Keaton Jennings was dismissed in the fifth over of the day when Kagiso Rabada surprised him with extra bounce.

The ball took the shoulder of the bat and flew to gully, where Chris Morris secured the catch.

Jennings, who was dropped on six on Saturday, scored 48 — his best effort in six test innings.

That was South Africa’s only success of the first session, and although they removed Tom Westley, Joe Root, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow in the space of 24 overs before tea, there was little chance of the visitors regaining a chance of winning.

Instead, England’s surge towards an imposing target drove the dynamic of the session.

Debutant Westley scored 59, Root made 50 — the ninth consecutive test in which he has scored at least a half-century — and Bairstow’s innovative 63 off 58 balls featured ramp shots, angled bunts and reverse sweeps.

Jennings and Westley put on 62 for the second wicket, and Westley and Root added 78 for the third.

Morris and Keshav Maharaj took two wickets each. - TimesLIVE