Berliner TageBlatt - Stokes leads from the front as England eye series win over South Africa

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Stokes leads from the front as England eye series win over South Africa
Stokes leads from the front as England eye series win over South Africa / Foto: © AFP

Stokes leads from the front as England eye series win over South Africa

England captain Ben Stokes led by example as the hosts pressed for a series-clinching win in the third Test against South Africa at the Oval on Sunday.

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South Africa were 146-7 in their second innings, a lead of just 106 runs, at tea on the fourth day of this curtailed match.

Stokes, having removed opposing South Africa skipper Dean Elgar, rounded off a session where the Proteas lost six wickets for 76 runs by striking with the last ball before tea when he bowled dangerman Marco Jansen for four with an excellent inswinger on his way to a return of 2-29 in 10.4 overs.

Jansen, 'caught' off a Stokes no-ball shortly beforehand, had top-scored with 30 in South Africa's meagre first innings 118 before taking a Test-best 5-35 in England's reply of 158 -- all after he had been unluckily dropped from the side that lost the second Test by an innings and 85 runs at Old Trafford.

Kyle Verreynne was eight not out.

South Africa, who've managed just one individual fifty so far this series, were 70-1 at lunch, 30 runs ahead.

Elgar was 35 not out and Keegan Petersen unbeaten on seven after Stokes, with just his third ball of the match, had Sarel Erwee (26) caught by first slip Joe Root.

- Broad surpasses McGrath -

Left-hander Elgar, in good touch before lunch, had added just one run to his score when Stuart Broad, bowling from around the wicket, had him lbw.

Perhaps convinced by the forcefulness of Broad's appeal, Elgar walked off almost as soon as he was given out having, extraordinarily, opted against a review despite the match situation and his status as South Africa's senior batsman.

Replays, however, indicated the ball would have missed leg stump by a distance, although by then Elgar was back in the pavilion and South Africa were 83-2.

Not that Broad cared. By dismissing Elgar, he surpassed retired Australia great Glenn McGrath's career tally of 563 Test wickets, with only longstanding team-mate and fellow England star James Anderson (666) having taken more among pace bowlers.

But as Broad had pointed out after equalling McGrath's mark on Saturday, he was appearing in his 159th Test compared to the 124 played by a "hero of mine".

Petersen had slashed Broad over backward point for four before cover-driving Anderson off the back foot for another boundary, with Stokes setting attacking fields, only to be undone on 23 when squared up by an Anderson delivery he edged to fourth slip.

Ryan Rickelton, recalled in place of the injured Rassie van der Dussen, fell cheaply for the second time in the match when he was lbw for eight after playing across a Broad outswinger that straightened. Rickelton, unlike Elgar, reviewed but there was no contradicting Indian umpire Nitin Menon's decision.

Robinson, who took a Test-best 5-49 in South Africa's first innings, then struck twice in quick succession, with Wiaan Mulder (14 off 52 balls) playing on before his equally becalmed partner Khaya Zondo (16 off 51 balls) was lbw to a ball that cut back sharply.

Earlier, England lost their last three wickets for the addition of just four runs in 16 legal deliveries after resuming on 154-7, with Kagiso Rabada and Jansen polishing off the tail.

This match has effectively been reduced to a three-day game after Thursday's opening day was washed out without a ball bowled before Friday's play was abandoned following the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

F.Pavlenko--BTB