England vs South Africa LIVE: Cricket scores and updates as Ben Stokes wins toss and decides bowl

Ben Stokes and England train at The Oval ahead of the South Africa playoff

England end the summer at The Oval with their third and final friendly against South Africa. Ben Stokes’ men suffered their first loss under his leadership as the Proteas won by an innings and 12 runs at Lords to take the lead in the series, only for England to bounce back at Old Trafford with an innings win of their own and that Team left three game streak at stake when teams meet in London.

At the start of the summer Stokes took over as captain of the England Test matches from Joe Root and Brendon McCullum became head coach. Under her guidance, England have won five of their six Test matches, including a series win against World Test Champions New Zealand and a series draw in the belated fifth Test match against India.

Harry Brook makes his international debut, replacing injured Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow in England’s only change from last time. The tourists made four changes, with Ryan Rickelton and Khaya Zondo replacing injured Rassie van der Dussen and out-of-form Aiden Markram. Fast left Marco Jansen was controversially left out in Manchester but returned while all-rounder Wiaan Mulder was also there.

Follow all the action from the third test between England and South Africa:


Bad omens

The ground crew is busy as a bunch of dark clouds have gathered over the top of The Oval. It’s pretty dark out there and the blankets are being raised in preparation for a downpour.

Players are ready to go, but it looks like the launch will be delayed yet again.


Anderson plays in the 175th Test

Also that morning James Anderson was presented with a new test cap for reaching his 175th match. 175! What a feat for England’s greatest bowler of all time.

(Getty Images)


The teams

Here’s a look at the two teams. South Africa have strengthened their batting side and face an early test against James Anderson and Ollie Robinson.

England XI: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes, Ben Foakes, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach, James Anderson

South Africa XI: Dean Elgar, Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Ryan Rickelton, Khaya Zondo, Kyle Verreynne, Wiaan Mulder, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje


Elgar hitting first

Dean Elgar lost the toss and will open the batting for South Africa. He says the surface looks good for batting, but the first session could be difficult.

“It looks like a good surface but there might be something to it in the first session so we need to tackle that racquet in hand and start well.” said the captain of the Proteas.

“Talent and skill are one thing but something I really look for and like in a cricketer is when they show character and that’s what we need.

“We didn’t have the best second Test but it’s still 1-1 and we would have put that in the series.

“Runs are key. We covered the 20 wickets with our bowlers but we have to give them a chance to hit well and bowl some.


Stokes on why he decided to bowl first

“It’s a bit of strategy and the pitch. We did well at bowling first this summer and with the weather we had it was a bit obscured and hopefully we can use covers,” said the England captain at the draw after deciding in the third test to roll first against South Africa.

“I’m massively disappointed in Jonny [Bairstow]. He’s been phenomenal and spearheaded what we’ve done and he should be very proud of that and what he’s accomplished. Harry Brook absolutely deserves this opportunity. I’m really happy that he’s going and showing what he can do.

“I don’t think our approach will change because of the change. We will play what is in front of us. We’re going to focus on bowling this morning and then as the game goes deeper we’ll play the game ahead accordingly.”


England wins the toss and bowls first

Ben Stokes won the toss and chose to bowl first. Stokes says the team has had some success bowling this summer and with the pitch being overcast for a while and the weather circling, he’s feeling like bowling.


Harry Brook can count on Ollie Pop for advice ahead of England Test debut

Ollie Pope is just under 14 months older than Harry Brook but he is ready to take on a mentoring role ahead of the latter’s likely England Test debut.

Yorkshire slugger Brook, 23, is all but certain to replace the injured Jonny Bairstow on Thursday as England begin their crucial third Test against South Africa at the Oval.

Pope has played 28 friendly matches since his debut against India in 2018 and admitted the pressures of international red ball cricket can surprise even the most prepared player.


weather clock

At the moment it’s dry and sunny over The Oval, but the weather radar says heavy showers will hit around 11:30am – just when the game is due to start.

It appears to be a similar situation to the Lords game where it rained heavily in sporadic bursts meaning a lot of water had to be removed.

Today could be a stop start day but looking ahead the weather for the weekend and Monday is looking excellent. This could play a role in the throw.

Win the Toss and Bowl first?


Brook receives England test cap

Harry Brook received his Test match cap from former England captain Joe Root this morning.

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)


Ollie Pope hopes he’s earned a permanent third place in England

Ollie Pope is enjoying his new role as England’s number three and believes he’s done enough to make it his permanent job.

England’s revamped Test leadership team of captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum promoted the 24-year-old to third place ahead of the series with New Zealand in June, and Pope heralded his arrival with a second Test tone at Trent Bridge.

The Surrey right-hander will be hoping to repeat his success when the squad start Thursday’s crucial clash against South Africa but reckons his trial period could be over.

“I’d like to believe that,” Pope said. “We don’t talk too much about these things but the feedback I’ve had has been great and I think the confidence that’s been given from upstairs by McCullum and Stokes has been great too so hopefully that can help me further install at this point and I approach the matter with a slightly better attitude.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cricket/england-south-africa-live-stream-score-updates-b2162476.html England vs South Africa LIVE: Cricket scores and updates as Ben Stokes wins toss and decides bowl

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