ENG vs SA: England marginally ahead of South Africa after another rain interrupted day
Robinson starred with ball for England. (PC- Twitter)
The third and final Test of the three-match series began two days later than planned, with rain preventing play on Thursday before the death of Queen Elizabeth II saw second day's action also suspended.
A full house at The Oval observed a faultless minutes' silence ahead of the national anthem being sung, after which the English seamers took control in an action-packed first hour of the morning session.
In seam-friendly conditions at The Oval, the hosts ripped through South Africa’s batting lineup on Saturday, with the likes of captain Dean Elgar, Sarel Erwee and Kyle Verreynne all failing to make meaningful contributions.
Ryan Rickelton, Wiaan Mulder and Khaya Zondo were the newcomers who also all lacked the experience to perform any kind of rescue job, while it speaks volumes that Marco Jansen was the top-scorer with 30.
Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson took 5-49 in just 14 overs, his third five-wicket innings haul in 11 career Tests, as South Africa were dismissed for just 118. Veteran fast bowler Stuart Broad enjoyed a return of 4-41 while his bowling partner- James Anderson ended up with only one wicket to his name.
With the bat, England made a slow start as left handed opener Alex Lees (13) fell within four overs, while Zak Crawley (5) followed lbw as Marco Jansen doubled up early on.
That was a sign of things to come as Jansen added the wickets of Joe Root (23) and debutant Harry Brook (12), before Kagiso Rabada bagged Broad (6) and England's number three- Ollie Pope, whose 67 had dragged the home side into the lead.
The series decider hangs in balance
Much to England's relief, however, bad light stopped play on the third day just as the visiting attack were hitting their stride, leaving the Englishmen to resume on 154-7 on day four.
Though England were able to claim an overnight lead of 36 they loosened their grip on the contest with some reckless batting display.
With only three wickets in hand, the Ben Stokes led team will be looking to accumulate as many runs as possible to build pressure on the Proteas. On the other hand, the Proteas bowlers have kept South Africa's hopes alive to win the Test series.
South Africa 1st Innings: 118/10
Marco Jansen 30 (59), Khaya Zondo 23 (57)
Ollie Robinson 49/5, Stuart Broad 41/4
England 1st Innings: 154/7
Ollie Pope 67 (77), Joe Root 23(25)
Marco Jansen 34/4, Kagiso Rabada 78/2
England have a lead of 36 runs at the end of Day 3