Player of the Match
Player of the Match

England win by 239 runs and take a 2-1 lead going into the final Test at Old Trafford. A terrific all-round display from England, who fought hard on the opening day in tough batting conditions to set up a good first innings total. Stokes hundred was outstanding then the bowlers, led by Roland-Jones on debut, got to work to earn a huge lead. A solid second-innings just left the question of whether South Africa could survive. They couldn't. By a long way. A team effort to bowl them out, Stokes hustled them last night, then it was TRJ and Moeen, with the hat-trick, who sealed it today.

Faf du Plessis "It's very obvious we missed Vernon, 350 was hundred runs too many but you have to give credit to how the England team played. Four down on the first day was a really good effort. Vernon is one of those world-class performers you take him at 50%, we knew he'd be sick and the plan was to hopefully win the toss and bat and give him an extra day. We thought he'd be back for days two, three four and five. We missed him in the first innings to put more pressure on England. It's very obvious the mistakes we made here and in the first Test. With the bat we weren't able to withstand the pressure. It's important you fight through it, but we didn't do that. It's been a very strange series, extreme from one to another, we don't have to scratch our heads - it's basic. Dean's knock was amazing and something we can look towards."

Joe Root "What a way to celebrate the 100th Test and this ground. It's been a great week for us. The way we batted first innings was very important, found a good tempo and it's a benchmark for us. Was a challenging wicket which got better as the game went on. We always felt we were ahead of the game from there. [Alastair's] innings was cruical, we could have been five/six down. That's why he's scored so many runs. At no point have we made excuses, always looking to improve, and most pleasing thing is we've responded. Will be hard for [TRJ] to top that, great to see him take to it like a duck to water. Important he stays level but he's got a mature head."

And the Man of the Match is...Ben Stokes "I felt I had to work pretty hard early on. The wicket was offering a bit, especially to Philander, can't count how many times he beat the bat so it's pleasing when you get through the tough times. I'll ways try to play in the same way, be positive, whether that's attack or defence. It came off this week so hopefully I can go forward. I asked Joe at the end if it was sliding down, it was a dramatic ending. Credit to Dean Elgar, was good to see the back of him. Congrats to Mo. The last spell at Trent Bridge was a confidence boost and hopefully I'll keep getting the rewards."

Well, that just about wraps things up for this Test. Apologies for various technical glitches over the last few days, we are trying very hard to get them right as quickly as possible. We'll be back on Friday for the start of the fourth Test - a nailed on South Africa win? For now, from Gnasher and Alan, it's goodbye and thanks for joining us.

Ali to Morkel, OUT, Moeen wins it with a hat-trick! Huge appeal for lbw and it's given not out but looks so close, England have reviewed. Round the wicket, slides on with the arm, Morkel only gets a small stride forward. Joel Wilson waited an age then said not out. It was smashing leg stump. What a moment to Moeen, the first hat-trick at The Oval in the ground's 100th Test

M Morkel lbw b Ali 0 (6m 1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

So, Moeen's hat-trick ball will be to Morne Morkel, another left-hander. Stokes, get ready at slip...

77 | (maiden) | SA: 252/9

  • KA Maharaj24 (26b)
  • M Morkel0 (0b)
  • BA Stokes14-1-51-2
  • MM Ali16-5-45-3
Stokes to Maharaj, no run, gets an inside edge into his pads, so Moeen will get another over
Stokes to Maharaj, no run, a sharp bouncer over off stump which he ducks
Stokes to Maharaj, no run, full outside off, left alone
Stokes to Maharaj, no run, pushes this length ball into the covers
Stokes to Maharaj, no run, pushed down the leg side
Stokes to Maharaj, no run, full at off stump, some late shape, defended to cover

76 | (wicket maiden) | SA: 252/9

  • KA Maharaj24 (20b)
  • MM Ali16-5-45-3
  • BA Stokes13-0-51-2
Ali to Rabada, OUT, and it's a repeat, edged to slip!, almost a carbon-copy, Moeen floats one up outside off, Rabada just pushes forward and sends a regulation nick to the hands of Stokes. Another bowler on a hat-trick, third of the innings but that's the end of the over

K Rabada c Stokes b Ali 0 (1m 1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

A well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd for a mighty fine 228-ball innings

Ali to Elgar, OUT, edged to slip! Elgar's defiance is over. Tossed into the footmarks, a little slower from Moeen, Elgar can't resist the drive this time and sends the edge to Stokes who rarely misses them

D Elgar c Stokes b Ali 136 (332m 228b 20x4 0x6) SR: 59.64

Ali to Elgar, no run, that's a tighter leave, this one slides on with the air rather than turning
Ali to Elgar, no run, wider outside off, left alone
Ali to Elgar, no run, another good stride forward, blocks to the covers
Ali to Elgar, no run, full at off stump, defended on the front foot

Ed: "Dawid Malan has a better first-class bowling average and strike rate than Moeen... why not give him a twirl?"

75 | 1 Run | SA: 252/7

  • KA Maharaj24 (20b)
  • D Elgar136 (223b)
  • BA Stokes13-0-51-2
  • MM Ali15-4-45-1

Zassies: "Has anyone pointed out that SA are already halfway there :P"

Stokes to Maharaj, no run, full, very wide, left alone

Short leg comes into place. Malan puts the helmet on

Stokes to Elgar, 1 run, gets inside the line of a shorter ball and works through square leg
Stokes to Elgar, no run, fuller at off stump, he's well across the crease and works to mid-on
Stokes to Elgar, no run, punches off the back foot to the covers

Mr Consistent


Test centuries in the last six series that Elgar has played. He scored centuries against Eng and SL at home and against Aus, NZ and Eng away.

Opening failure


South Africa's average first-wicket stand in the last 12 Test innings, since the start of the series in New Zealand. Their highest opening stand during this period is 21

Uphill for South Africa


The only time South Africa have batted 100+ overs in the fourth innings in England - they faced 141 overs and drew the game at The Oval in 1947

Root's run-fest continues


Consecutive Tests in which Root has made a 50-plus score. Only seven batsmen have had a longer stretch: Tendulkar, Edrich (10 each), Mominul, Sehwag, Gambhir, Richards (11 each), and de Villiers (12)

Debut half-century at No. 3


England batsmen who've made 50+ on Test debut at No. 3, like Tom Westley has in this Test. The previous one was Owais Shah (88 & 38) v India in 2006

Morkel's Bunny


Number of times Morne Morkel has dismissed Alastair Cook in Tests - Most he has been dismissed by any bowler. This was also the first time Cook got bowled by Morkel.

Dream Debut


Last instance of a fast bowler from Eng to take a 5 wicket haul on debut.Graham Onions took 5 for 38 against WI at Lords.Toby Roland Jones took 5 for 57.

Stokes vs SA


Number of centuries for Ben Stokes against South Africa. He has an average of 49.83 from 12 innings against them.

New Ball delivers


Runs made by England in 11 overs since the new ball was taken.England lost 2 wickets in this period. They made 44 runs for no wicket in the 10 overs prior to the new ball

Time for a change?


Number of single digit scores from 8 innings for Keaton Jennings since his century on debut. He averages 12.37 and has three ducks.

Three Debutants


Last instance of England playing 3 debutants in a Test. Sam Robson, Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan played their first game against SL at Lords.