Elgar, Bavuma hold up England victory charge
London, UK - England will return on the final day of The Oval's 100th Test on Monday in need of six more wickets to take an unassailable 2-1 series lead after two quick wickets from Ben Stokes rocked South Africa's hopes of salvaging a draw from the third Test on Sunday.
Stokes (2-29) dismissed Quinton de Kock (5) and skipper Faf du Plessis (0) with successive balls to reduce the Proteas to 52 for four after England declared on 313-8, setting the tourists a victory target of 492 on day four.
Dean Elgar (72 not out), dropped on nine, and Temba Bavuma (16 not out) stopped the rot with an unbroken stand of 65 but at stumps South Africa was still 374 runs behind, closing on 117 for four.
With the highest successful run chase in Test cricket at The Oval remains the 263 for nine scored by England against Australia in 1902, South Africa faces a uphill task after debutant Tom Westley (59), Joe Root (50) and Jonny Bairstow (63) struck fifties in the hosts' second innings on Sunday.
South Africa claimed just one wicket before lunch as England built on its overnight 74 for one - that of Keaton Jennings (48), who gloved a surprise bouncer from Kagiso Rabada to Chris Morris in the gully, ending a second-wicket stand of 62.
Westley was stumped by a distance coming down the track to Keshav Maharaj (3-50) and Root top-edged the spinner having become only the third Englishman to score a fifty in nine consecutive Tests.
David Malan (10) fell lbw to Morris on review - England's lead 380 at that point - and the platform allowed Bairstow and Stokes (31) freedom to attack South Africa at will.
Stokes fell two balls after launching Morris for six into the stands at midwicket, bowled, and Moeen Ali (eight) was run out by a Bavuma direct hit.
The declaration finally came when Bairstow was caught at the second attempt by Rabada at long off - the wicketkeeper completing his innings with a limp.
South Africa's reply was quickly in trouble even after Jennings dropped Elgar at third slip off James Anderson before he had reached double figures.
England did break through in the following over when Stuart Broad bowled Heino Kuhn. Roland-Jones dismissed Hashim Amla (five) for the second time in the match and Stokes’ double blow left the Proteas a huge mountain to climb.
Elgar, reached his ninth fifty in 38 Tests off 77 balls and along with Bavuma battled on after posting their fifty stand off 86 balls.
South Africa's Dean Elgar bats on the fourth day against England
England's Ben Stokes celebrates after taking a wicket