Oval leaves Proteas bloodied and bruised
Dean Elgar 136 Who’s the leading run-scorer in Test cricket this year? Elgar only knows one way, he doesn’t care that it looks unattractive, no one should, because it’s mighty effective. He copped a barrage in his magnificent second innings here – his forefinger is in severe pain, he has a bruised hip and both thighs are bruised as well. But he’ll carry those scars of battle with pride. It was the third highest score by a South African in the fourth innings of a Test. What Elgar, and this Proteas team desperately need is a partner for him at the top of the order. England picked three for this Test, and two of them played influential roles, with one, Toby Roland-Jones having the kind of start to his career most young kids only dream of. Tom Westley seems to have solved the No 3 problem – in the short term at least – even if it means Root’s fellow Yorkshireman Gary Ballance is sidelined. Westley played very well in the second innings, although South Africa’s bowlers will want to examine him more outside his off-stump in Manchester. But he showed exemplary patience in the second innings as England built an unassailable lead. Dawid Malan’s maiden Test will be remembered for Rabada’s epic first innings yorker. I THROW MY HANDS IN THE AIR: Moeen Ali celebrates his hat-trick, which ended the third Test against South Africa in victory for England, at The Oval yesterday.