London - The Proteas' bowlers sense an opportunity to make an impact in favourable conditions when play resumes on Friday in the third Test against England at The Oval.
Scorecard: England v SA, third Test
Rain curtailed an action-packed opening day, leaving the hosts on 171/4 when early stumps was called with only 59 overs bowled in the day.
Kagiso Rabada, who made a return after missing the last match due to suspension, says the match is in the balance, but hopes the Proteas’ attack can use the sporting conditions to make further inroads into England’s line-up.
“I thought we bowled well today,” he said after the first day’s play on Thursday. “There was a lot on offer but I don’t think it was a bad wicket for the batsmen. There was a lot of bounce so a lot of balls went past the edge which might look good but is ineffective. The game is even, so tomorrow we will need to make an impact.”
Rabada was in awe of Vernon Philander’s masterful bowling spell, which went for an impressive 2/17 in 12 overs, including five testing maidens. The youngster says he is taking tips on the art of swing and seam bowling from his talented team-mate.
“I was watching from midwicket in that last session,” he said of Philander’s spell. “I thought he bowled so well. Going off the field I asked him for a few pointers, he is a very skilful bowler, especially in these conditions. He makes it look simple. It’s about trying to find a way to master a few things that he does.”
Philander struggled with a stomach bug throughout the day, but showed signs of improving health towards the close of play. Alastair Cook (82) and Ben Stokes (21) will resume the England innings, which is scheduled to start at 11:00 (12:00 SA time) with extra time being made up throughout the day.