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Ken Borland

Jansen scores precious runs & takes vital wickets

Posted on October 24, 2022 by Ken

Marco Jansen scored precious runs and took vital wickets to keep South Africa with a fingerhold on the game on the third day of the third Test against England at The Oval on Saturday.

Jansen top-scored with 30 in a dismal South African first innings of just 118 after they lost the toss and were sent in to bat on the first morning, but never got to the crease thanks to rain washing out the entire first day’s play and then the second day being cancelled as a mark of respect for the passing of the United Kingdom’s beloved Queen Elizabeth II.

The beanpole 22-year-old then bowled superbly to take 4/34 in 11 overs as England went to stumps on 154/7, leading by 36 runs. They were 84/2 at tea though, and Jansen’s left-arm pace, with handy late swing, inspired the Proteas to bowl themselves back into the contest.

He had earlier batted with defiant assurance after coming to the crease at a parlous 36/6. The fact that South Africa reached three figures was almost entirely due to the seventh-wicket partnership of 36 between Jansen and Khaya Zondo, who also resisted stoutly with 23 in more than an hour-and-a-half in his debut Test innings.

It was a crucial toss for England to win when play eventually got underway on the third morning under heavily overcast skies, with the England seamers getting precious movement off the pitch. But they bowled superbly, with outstanding accuracy, to get the most out of the conditions.

Ollie Robinson, consistently zeroing in on off-stump and moving the ball both ways, led the way with 5/49 in 14 overs, while Stuart Broad wrapped up the last bits of resistance with 4/41 in a superb display by the England pacemen.

Ollie Pope, one of The Oval’s favourite sons when playing for Surrey, batted with great positivity to score 67 off 77 balls and led England into a first-innings lead as, Jansen apart, the South African bowlers were poor at the start, bowling too short, too straight and too wide too often. But in the clatter of wickets after tea, Pope should have changed gear and tried to stick around, ensuring the Proteas were batted properly out of the game.

England captain Ben Stokes was even more at fault, falling for just 6 to Anrich Nortje as he played several wildly attacking strokes in the nine deliveries he faced.

Ben Foakes is the last remaining recognised batsman on 11 not out.

South Africa will still pay for their failure to bat for more than just 36.2 overs, but they will hope to limit the first-innings deficit to something around 50. They will also be hoping they come out to bat for the second innings with the sun shining.

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