Rain threatens to rule out the rest of day three at The Oval, with England on 74-1 and a lead of 252 runs.
The weather has come to save the day for the Proteas, as Keaton Jennings, on 34, and Tom Westley, on 28, were looking well set and confident of extending what is already a significant lead. Should the rain continue to pour throughout the rest of the day, England will probably look to bat for half of the day on day four, which will give the Proteas a sniff of saving the match.
England strode out after lunch on 20-0, after Dean Elgar shelled a chance in the slips when Jennings was on six. The former SA U19 skipper continued to ride his luck a bit after the break as he successfully overturned an lbw decision against him, but from there he looked fluent as he looks to keep his place in the England Test side.
Morne Morkel was the pick of the SA bowlers in the second session, bowling fuller than usual and constantly forcing the batsmen to play. He produced a ripper of a delivery to Cook when he was on seven, bowling around the wicket and getting the ball to shape away slightly to remove the top of Cook’s off-stump.
It was a record-extending 11th time Morkel had removed Cook in his career, and on 30-1, the Proteas were looking to cash in on the inexperienced pair at the crease. Vernon Philander, who was discharged from hospital the night before after suffering from a viral infection, struggled a bit as he conceded 30 runs from his six overs.
Westley drove down the ground effectively and Jennings put away anything short and wide, to leave England comfortably placed on 74-1 from 21.2 overs. The likes of Morkel and Kagiso Rabada will have to come out firing should they have the opportunity to do so today.
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