Cook‚ Westley steady England after Philander strike

Alastair Cook and debutant Tom Westley steadied England after Vernon Philander’s early strike for South Africa in the third test at The Oval.

At lunch on the first day‚ what was taken 13 minutes early because of rain‚ the home side were 62/1 after choosing to bat.

Cook was 34 not out with Westley on 24.

Keaton Jennings was out for a nine-ball duck when he edged Philander to third slip‚ where Dean Elgar dived forward to take a low catch.

South Africa thought they had reduced England to 47/2 when Cook was rapped on the pads by Chris Morris.

But technology revealed Cook‚ who was 28 not out‚ had edged the ball before it hit him.

Westley‚ who replaced the injured Gary Ballance‚ faced four balls before getting off the mark.

He reeled four boundaries off the next 19 deliveries bowled to him.

The batsmen couldn’t score a run off the first 23 balls Philander bowled.

His figures at lunch read 4-3-2-1‚ but he finished the session off the field because of a stomach bug.

Along with fast bowler Toby Roland-Jones‚ who came in for the injured Mark Wood‚ England also capped batsman Dawid Malan‚ who was preferred to left-arm spinner Liam Dawson.

The only change to the South Africa team who won the second test at Trent Bridge by 340 runs was the inclusion of Kagiso Rabada — who was banned for the second test for disciplinary reasons — at the expense of Duanne Olivier. - TimesLIVE

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