Robinson skittles South Africa before Pope gives England narrow advantage | England v South Africa 2022
, 2022-09-10 21:44:00,
After the first day was lost to the rain and the second respectfully called off after the death of Queen Elizabeth II the pre-match prediction from both captains that this series decider would produce an outright winner appeared on shaky ground.
But the fall of 17 wickets during the first three sessions of the nine available keeps things very much on track. Ollie Robinson tore through South Africa like crepe paper with figures of five for 49 in their 118 all out and England were riding the emotion inside the Oval, only for Dean Elgar’s tourists to fight back in characterful fashion.
Come stumps, as a day that began with a fitting tribute to the late monarch was ended with bad light at 6.28pm, cutting things short by an hour after a brief rain delay, England were 154 for seven and leading by 36 runs. Ollie Pope had caressed an ultimately unfulfilled 67 but through a collective eagerness to score quickly – summed up by the latest fleeting thrash from Ben Stokes – and a fine four-wicket performance from Marco Jansen, the hosts had let their position slip.
Not that this would have dampened the spirits of the sold-out crowd as they filtered towards the exits and into the night. The spectators had been central to what was a historic third day in SE11, solemnly observing the well-pitched pre-match ceremony and then delivering a stirring atmosphere as two sides duked it out.
Admittedly there were a few groans during England’s response, even if tempered by the occasion. The…
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