LONDON:Seamer Ollie Robinson took five wickets as England skittled South Africa for 118 on the third day of the third test at The Oval on Saturday, before motoring to 84 for two in 16 overs in reply at tea in a fast-moving contest.
Ollie Pope was on 38 and Joe Root on 23 as England look to seize control of what is essentially a three-day test with the first day washed out by rain and the second cancelled as a mark of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth.
Openers Alex Lees (13) and Zak Crawley (5) were the two batsmen out, both falling to tall left-arm seamer Marco Jansen (2-19) as England looked to take the attack to the tourists with the bat.
The morning started in a reflective mood as, after a rendition of “God Save The King”, with the vast majority of the crowd singing it for the first time in their lives, there was a long round of applause as images of the queen were shown on screens around the ground.
And fired-up England did not take long to get to work. The excellent Robinson (5-49) clean-bowled South Africa captain Dean Elgar (1) in his first over with a delivery that nipped back into the left-hander off the wicket and clattered into the stumps.
James Anderson then had opener Sarel Erwee (0) caught by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, while Keegan Petersen (12) did not offer a shot and lost his off-stump to Robinson in a poor error of judgement.
Excluding Elgar, South Africa’s top seven batsmen have only played 38 tests between them and in the face of an examination by the swinging Duke ball, the sense of panic was palpable.
Ryan Rickelton (11) played down the wrong line trying to defend a Stuart Broad delivery and was caught by Foakes, who also gobbled up an edge from Kyle Verreynne (0) off the bowling of Robinson.
The same pair combined to remove Wiaan Mulder (3), before Khaya Zondo (23) and innings top-scorer Jansen (30) offered some resistance.
But England’s seamers were relentless and kept taking wickets, with Stuart Broad recording figures of 4-41 as he removed the tail.
The series is poised at 1-1 following the first two tests, both of which ended inside three days.