London (AP) — Debutant England bowler Toby Roland-Jones ripped through South Africa’s top batting in the second test on Friday, taking four wickets as the tourists collapsed to 126-8 at the close, losing seven wickets in the final session of the day.
Responding to England’s first innings total of 353, the 29-year-old Roland-Jones removed both openers and then claimed the key scalps of Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock in his first test for England.
Experienced seamers James Anderson took 2-16 and Ben Stokes, who earlier in the day scored a sparkling century, and Stuart Broad each took one wicket, leaving South Africa facing defeat in the third of the four-match series. The series is currently tied 1-1.
Temba Bavuma and Kagiso Rabada put on 53 for the eighth wicket, but this was the only resistance.
Vernon Philander, the pick of South Africa’s bowling on the first day at the Oval, sent down five overs but then left the field again for treatment, apparently for a stomach ailment that also forced him off the field on the first day.
It was later reported that Philander had been admitted to hospital. He could still bat on Saturday if he has recovered.
England’s seam attack made hay in ideal English conditions — cool, humid weather — and a Duke ball that southern hemisphere teams dislike. The swing bowling made life virtually impossible for South Africa’s batsmen.
The tourists’ bowlers could not match the control of the seam and Stokes drove England to what now looks like a strong first innings total.
Stokes hit 112 in 153 balls, reaching and passing his century in dramatic fashion by smashing three consecutive sixes off the bowling of spinner Keshav Maharaj.
The England left-hander had resumed on Friday with opener Alastair Cook, who added just six runs to his overnight 82 before Morne Morkel beat his bat and trapped Cook leg before wicket, 12 short of a 31st test century.
Resuming on 171-4, England advanced to 269-6 at lunch as Stokes and Bairstow shared a 75-run partnership.
Two wickets fell in the morning session, those of Cook and Bairstow.
Stokes and Bairstow looked comfortable until the new ball was taken 20 minutes before lunch.
With the swinging ball, Kagiso Rabada induced an edge from Bairstow to second slip, where captain Faf du Plessis took the catch. Bairstow scored 36 in 52 balls.
Moeen Ali and Roland-Jones added valuable runs and were able to witness another Stokes blitz in an innings that included nine fours and four sixes.
At tea, South Africa were 18-1. Roland-Jones induced the faintest of edges from opener Dean Elgar and he was caught behind by Jonny Bairstow with the last ball before the break. Elgar reviewed the decision, but replays showed a slight touch.
After tea, Roland-Jones continued his work with three more wickets.