England 353 (Stokes 112, Cook 88) and 313 for 8 dec (Bairstow 63, Westley 59, Root 50) beat South Africa 175 (Bavuma 52, Roland-Jones 5-57) and 205 for 7 (Elgar 136, Moeen 4-45) by 239 runs
England’s Moeen Ali took a hat-trick to wrap up a convincing 239-run victory over South Africa in the third Test at The Oval. The off-spinner had Dean Elgar, who made 136, caught at slip, Kagiso Rabada dismissed in very similar fashion and then trapped Morne Morkel lbw on review.
Moeen finished with 4-45 as South Africa, chasing an unlikely 492, were bowled out for 252. England lead the series 2-1 with only the fourth Test at Old Trafford to play.
England: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Tom Westley, Joe Root (c), Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Toby Roland-Jones and James Anderson.
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Heino Kuhn, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wk), Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma, Vernon Philander, Chris Morris, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel.
Drama at the end as England go 2-1 up
Four down overnight, South Africa lost Bavuma and Vernon Philander midway through the first session in successive balls to Roland-Jones, whose productive Test debut brought 8 for 129 in the match and enhanced his reputation as an England support seamer. The addition of Chris Morris from the last ball before lunch completed a satisfying morning for England.
The review came instantly before joyous celebration commenced when the decision was overturned and Morkel was given lbw.
England had the game won when Moeen began his 15th over in the hour after lunch, but that takes nothing away from the theatre of the moment. Elgar finally played a loose shot to edge to Ben Stokes and, next ball, Rabada was dismissed in similar fashion with Stokes again taking the catch at slip.
With the over completed, Moeen had to wait for the chance of the hat-trick, and hurried the ball into the pads of Morkel only for a huge appeal to be turned down. The review came instantly before joyous celebration commenced when the decision was overturned and Morkel was given lbw.
Magical Moeen – stats corner
- Moeen Ali has the best bowling average in 2o17 in Test cricket
- Moeen’s hat-trick is the first in Test cricket with three left-handed batsmen as victims
- There have only been two other match-ending hat-tricks in Test cricket: George Lohmann (England v SA, 1896)and Hugh Trumble (Australia v England, 1902)
- South Africa’s innings was the first in Test cricket to include four first-ball ducks
- It was the 43rd hat-trick in Tests and 14th for England
- It was also the first by an England spinner since 1938
Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan: “After Trent Bridge it was important someone set their stall out to remind England how to play in those conditions – Alastair Cook did that very well in the first innings.
“The intent of the England team this week, the effort, they looked prepared to put the hard work in. We want to see that on a consistent basis – as soon as they lose the toss.”
[quote cite=”England Captain Joe Root”]The way we batted in the first innings was really important and set a good benchmark for us. The way we bowled first up was exceptional.[/quote]
England all-rounder Ben Stokes: “I had to work really hard, with the wicket offering a lot to their bowlers, particularly for Vernon Philander.
“We put ourselves in a great position with that first-innings score. I’ll always try to play positively, whether that be in attack or defence, and it came off this week.”
See England in action this August
England have lost just once in Test match cricket at Edgbaston since 2002 and have recorded victories in their last two Investec Test matches in Birmingham; against Australia in 2015 and Pakistan in 2016. Fortress Edgbaston will be rocking once again as England aim to secure their 7th straight win in Birmingham in all formats when they take on West Indies in the UK’s first ever day/night Test starting from Thursday 17 August.
Tickets for this historic occasion are priced from £26 for adults and from £6 for under 16s. Please click here or call the Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 1902 to purchase.