Two exhilarating days of test cricket ended up belonging to England. Performances from Tobias Skelton Roland-Jones and Ben Stokes have given the home team the upper hand heading into the final two days at the Oval.
Day 2 got off to a bad start for England losing Cook after he only added seven to his overnight score leaving England 183-5. This brought in Jonny Bairstow and with the inform Stokes, the pair manage to put on 75 before Bairstow was caught Du Plessis bowled Rabada for 36. With the score at 258-6 England didn’t look like they were going to put on a competitive total, but a batting masterclass from Ben Stokes changed all that. Stokes’ brilliant 112 off just 153 deliveries with 9 4’s and 4 6’s brought the score up to 353 (all out).
Now after the Proteas were put into bat, Root made a bowling change early bringing Anderson off for the debutant Tobias Skelton Roland-Jones, who produced a brilliant spell of bowling. The first Tobias to ever play test cricket, would soon become the first player with a double-barrelled surname to take a 5-wicket-haul, when he took the last Proteas wicket on day 3. First though he made an instant impact taking four quick wickets and arguably dismissed South Africa’s 3 best batsmen. With Vernon Philander in Hospital after feeling ill the Proteas only had 9 wickets to play with, although Philander would return on day 3 to bat. Roland-Jones’ great spell was followed up by Anderson and Broad who mad the Proteas on day two on 126-8 after some resilience from Rabada (30) and Bavuma (34 not out).
More of the same was on the menu on a rain affected 3rd day of the test match. Some more resistance from Morkel and Bavuma brought the score to 161-9 until Morkel was dismissed by Anderson for 17. Bavuma brought up fifty playing a fine innings when he was needed. This was ended by Roland-Jones and brought up a five-wicket-haul for the debutant. The Proteas were 175 all out.
England lost Cook early leaving him with 999 test runs at the Oval. Both openers were nearly lost when Jennings edged to the slips and it was dropped and he had to review an LBW decision which was pitching outside leg stump. He finished the day on 33 and Westley on 28 before rain stopped play around 2:30. Let’s hope for better weather on days 4 and 5.