Jennings rides his luck as Eng­land ex­tend lead

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Keaton Jennings sur­vived a cou­ple of scares against his na­tive South Africa as Eng­land main­tained their grip on the third Test at The Oval yes­ter­day. Eng­land were 74 for one in their sec­ond in­nings, a lead of 252 runs at stumps on a gloomy third day where rain meant only 32 overs out of sched­uled 98 were bowled.

Jennings was 34 not out and Tom West­ley, one of three debu­tants in Eng­land’s XI, un­beaten on 28 in what is the 100th Test at The Oval. Jo­han­nes­burg born and raised Jennings, the 11th man tried as an Eng­land Test opener along­side Alas­tair Cook since An­drew Strauss re­tired in 2012, was un­der pres­sure for his place af­ter a run of low scores-in­clud­ing a duck in the first in­nings of this match.

The 25-year-old Durham left-han­der, Eng­land-qual­i­fied through his mother and by res­i­dence, nearly fell cheaply again to an­other slip catch by Dean El­gar off Ver­non Phi­lan­der only for an edge on six to be dropped on this oc­ca­sion. Ear­lier, Temba Bavuma’s gutsy 52 helped South Africa avoid the fol­low-on.

His in­nings was the cor­ner­stone of the Proteas’ 175 all out. That left then 178 runs be­hind Eng­land’s first in­nings 353, which fea­tured Ben Stokes’s 112 and for­mer cap­tain Cook’s 88. Toby Roland-Jones, who’d re­moved all of South Africa’s top four in a sen­sa­tional de­but dis­play on Fri­day, had Bavuma caught be­hind to end the in­nings.

Mid­dle­sex seamer Roland-Jones fin­ished with fig­ures of five for 57 in 16.4 overs. In the process he be­came just the sixth Eng­land crick­eter, and first since Gra­ham Onions in 2009, to take five or more wick­ets in a de­but Test bowl­ing in­nings. South Africa re­sumed on 126 for eight, still 28 runs shy of avoid­ing the fol­low-on.

Bavuma was 34 not out and Morne Morkel un­beaten on two, with this four-match se­ries in the bal­ance at 1-1 and the con­tin­ued over­cast con­di­tions again favour­ing the faster bowlers.

South Africa were bol­stered by know­ing Phi­lan­der had been passed fit af­ter a night on a hos­pi­tal drip that fol­lowed a sec­ond day’s play from which the all-rounder was largely ab­sent. The diminu­tive Bavuma had a re­prieve on 40 when an edged drive off Stu­art Broad flew low to gully where a div­ing Stokes could not hold what would have been a stunning catch.

Bavuma sub­se­quently en­sured South Africa avoided the fol­low-on by driv­ing a Broad half-vol­ley through the cov­ers for four. And he then pro­duced an even bet­ter cover-driven four off James An­der­son, with Eng­land’s record Test wicket-taker hit on the up. But a valu­able ninth-wicket part­ner­ship of 47 ended when Morkel (17) nicked An­der­son to Cook at first slip.

Bavuma’s edge to the third man bound­ary off Roland-Jones saw him com­plete a hard-earned fifty off 111 balls, in­clud­ing eight fours. The worth of his more than three-hour in­nings was ac­knowl­edged by South Africa cap­tain Faf du Plessis, who led the ap­plause from the dress­ing room bal­cony.—AFP

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