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England vs South Africa at the Oval

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England_South_Africa_CricketEngland were firm favorites going into the Test series against South Africa, as they were playing at home and South Africa were not at full strength. Pundits had no reason to change this opinion after the first Test, which England won by a mammoth 211 runs. However, they reckoned without a strong fightback by the Proteas, who were boosted by the return of their talismanic captain, Faf Du Plessis, and some changes in personnel.

South Africa roared back in thrilling fashion to inflict a 340-run thrashing on the hosts and level the series 1-1. They now have momentum on their side and will look to win their 3rd consecutive Test series in England. Moreover, South Africa will be buoyed by the return of Kagiso Rabada, who was banned for the 2nd Test. However, all is not lost for England and both sides have all to play for in the 3rd Test starting at the Kennington Oval on the 27th of July. Both sides have the added incentive of knowing that a win in the 3rd Test will ensure that they cannot lose the series. 

The Test at the Oval will be the 100th Test to be played at this hallowed venue and one hopes that both teams put on a show that will be fitting for such a momentous occasion. 

 

Out of the 99 Tests played at the Oval, England have won 40, lost 22 and drawn 37. They have the second most Test victories at the Oval after Lords (52). England have played 14 Tests against South Africa at the Oval and have won 6, lost 1 and drawn 7 Tests. In the last meeting between the two teams at the Oval, South Africa trounced England by an innings and 12 runs. England’s recent record at the Oval is not encouraging, as they have lost 3 out of their last 5 Tests at this venue. 

 

Here are some stats highlights from Tests played between the two teams at the Oval.

Denis Compton has the highest aggregate Test runs for England at this venue with 317 runs to his name. Herbert Sutcliffe has scored the most Test centuries for England, two, while Marcus Trescothick claims the highest individual score by an Englishman at this venue with his 219 from September 2003.

For South Africa, Bruce Mitchell has scored the highest aggregate runs with 448 to his name. He has also scored the most Test centuries for South Africa at this venue with 3. Hashim Amla’s unbeaten 311 in July 2012 is the highest score for South Africa at this venue.

 

There have been a total of 24 Test centuries scored at this venue in Tests between the two teams with England scoring 14 and South Africa accounting for 10.

 

Jim Laker has taken the most wickets for England with 17, while Devon Malcolm has the best bowling figures in an innings thanks to his destructive 9/57 in August 1994. 

Athol Rowan has taken the most aggregate wickets for South Africa with 10 while Aubrey Faulkner has the best bowling figures in an innings with 7/84 in August 1912. There have been 16 five wicket hauls in Tests between the two teams at this venue, with English and South African bowlers accounting for 8 apiece. 

AB de Villiers has taken the most catches by a wicketkeeper for South Africa: 8; while Steve Rhodes has taken the most by a wicketkeeper for England with 6. De Villiers has taken the most catches by a keeper in an innings for South Africa with 5 while Les Ames holds the record for an English keeper with 3. 

Jock Cameron has effected the most aggregate stumpings for South Africa with 3, while Les Ames has effected the most for England with 2. 

Trevor Goddard and Graeme Smith have taken the most catches by a non-wicketkeeper for South Africa with 5, while Len Hutton leads the way for England with 4. Graeme Smith has taken the most catches in an innings for South Africa with 3, which is matched by England’s Paul Collingwood, who has taken 3 as well.

South Africa’s highest total at this venue is 637/2 declared, in July 2012 while England’s highest is 604/9 declared in September 2003. 

The average score in the first innings of the match over the last 10 matches is 385.

 

Out of the 99 Tests, played at this venue, the team winning the toss has elected to bat on 86 occasions, which suggests that it is not a venue which has a lot of assistance for the bowlers right at the start of the match. Out of the 62 Tests with a decisive result, the team winning the toss has won on 33 occasions. This shows that it is not a venue where the toss plays a huge role in the outcome of the match. Out of these 33 occasions, England has won on 24 occasions, while the opposition has won on 9 occasions. 

 

So, the stage is set for an exciting match beginning on Thursday. The England Women did their country proud by winning their 4th World Cup on Sunday and their men will aim to make the fans even happier by winning the 3rd Test. Let’s hope that the cricket dished out is of a high standard and we have a cracker of a match.

 

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