Rain Halts Protea’s progress

Reports & previews

A rain hit first day of the third Test between England and South Africa saw the hosts move to 171/4 before play was called off.

There were three debuts for England in what will be the hundredth Test at the Oval with Tom Westley, Dawid Malan and Toby Roland-Jones coming in to the team.

England would have been happy with their work before lunch although less pleased with Keaton Jennings poor form.

Jennings nicked off to Vernon Philander for a duck, it is the third time in the series that Philander has dismissed the opener who has only notched two runs against his bowling.

Essex teammates Alastair Cook and Westley steered England to 62 for 1 before a rain shower forced an early lunch.

Shortly after the break Chris Morris extracted the breakthrough as Westley (25) chased after a ball from Chris Morris that he need not have played at.

Cook stood head and shoulders above every other England batsman as even Joe Root (29) was unable to keep Philander, suffering from an upset stomach, from claiming another victim. Quinton de Kock took the grab one-handed diving to his right.

The second of the debutants made his way out to the crease but Malan (1) wasn’t there long before he was brilliantly yorked by Kagiso Rabada, leaving him on the deck and his stumps a mess.

Ben Stokes (21*) joined Cook (82*) for a stop start partnership of 51 with the rain twice halting the game again before play was called off.