England secure comprehensive Oval Test win to clinch series against South Africa

Ben Stokes's team ease to nine-wicket victory on Monday for sixth Test success in seven outings

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Ben Stokes's England rounded off a memorable summer of cricket with a comprehensive nine-wicket win in the third and final Test at the Oval against South Africa to complete a 2-1 series win on Monday.

Chasing a modest target of 130, England resumed the day needing just 33 for victory.

Openers Zak Crawley and Alex Lees had added 97 the previous day and victory seemed a formality.

Lees was dropped by Proteas wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne on the third ball of the morning and then survived another scare when a thick edge flew over Keegan Petersen at third slip to go for four.

South Africa made a breakthrough on the penultimate delivery of the third over of the day, with Lees's luck finally running out as a review showed he had been trapped lbw by Kagiso Rabada.

But Crawley completed the win. Ollie Pope contributed 11 after the loss of Lees, while Crawley, who resumed on 57, ended on 69 by sealing the match with a cover drive for four.

The Three Lions thus completed their fifth successful chase of the summer, further cementing the attacking philosophy of new Test coach Brendon McCullum.

England thus took their Test record for the summer to six wins from seven games. They had earlier defeated world Test champions New Zealand 3-0 and crushed India in a one-off Test.

This came after an awful run that brought one win from the previous 17 Tests and led to the arrival of Stokes as captain in place of Joe Root.

The series win against South Africa was especially significant as England had lost the first Test at Lord's by an innings before hitting back with an innings win in Manchester. The Oval Test was essentially a third straight three-day match in this series. The opening day was washed out and day two was called off as a mark of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday.

Updated: September 12, 2022, 11:10 AM
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