England 20 for none v South Africa (Cook 6*, Jennings 10*), lead by 198
Rain cut short an edgy first session of the third day of the 100th Oval Test, with England in complete control of the match despite some stubborn early resistance from Temba Bavuma and Morne Morkel.
Toby Roland-Jones and Stuart Broad failed to extract the nip and bounce of the previous day, creating only one real moment of drama in the first dozen overs when Bavuma edged the famously petulant blonde seamer to Ben Stokes at gully only for the chance – difficult, fast and away to his left – to fly off his outstretched palm to safety.
Stealing the strike for much of the morning, the diminutive South African batsman stood (metaphorically) tall to frustrate the home side’s bowlers while Morkel hacked and thwacked away at the other end, hitting three fours in a solid supporting 17 from 39 balls before falling to James Anderson – caught in the slips by Alastair Cook.
A couple of overs from Moeen Ali provided a different threat for the batsmen to face but it was the returning Roland-Jones who wrapped up the innings in the 22nd over of the morning, Vernon Philander rising from his sickbed to score a brisk 10 off 11 balls before Bavuma edged the debutant behind to depart for 52.
Roland-Jones ended with fine figures of 5-57 from 16.4 overs, the first England seamer to take five wickets on debut at the Oval in 55 years, and the first at any ground since Graham Onions against the West Indies in 2009.
Philander remained on the field to open the bowling alongside Morkel, getting the nervous-looking Jennings bafflingly dropped by Dean Elgar in the fourth over after the 25-year-old played at a good ball outside the off-stump.
As the groans arrived, so did the rain – the players and umpires scooting off the pitch and calling a premature end to the session with England firmly in the driving seat.