Cricket News: England beat South Africa by 9 wickets, clinch the series 2-1
England needed just 25 minutes to claim a 2-1 Test match victory over South Africa at the Oval last morning
On the penultimate evening of the shortened third Test, the play was suspended due to poor light, with England just 33 points short of surpassing their target of 130 and having all ten wickets in hand.
Surrey opened their doors for free for the postponed result, and there was no surprise turnaround as England claimed their sixth Test success in seven matches this summer with a nine-wicket win.
Alex Lees was out for 39 against Kagiso Rabada. The decision that he was not out was revised after a review. Despite quiet appeals on the field, South Africa stuck to their guns and gifted the fast bowler a deserved wicket after keeper Kyle Verreynne wasted a regulation chance with an edge in his previous over.
Lees also touched Marco Jansen just over third slip before being brought down in a streaky game, although his contribution to a 108-run opening partnership with Zak Crawley ended the run chase.
Crawley ended his disappointing summer with 69 runs without conceding on just 57 balls by punching Rabada through free cover and then relieving Jansen with his twelfth four. Ollie Pope finished with an unbeaten 11.
England has not won half a dozen Test matches in a single home summer since 2004, and under captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, the team is going from strength to strength, achieving success over the Proteas after just nine innings.
With Thursday and Friday's matches cancelled in deference to the Queen's death, there were just over two days on the pitch. South Africa's refusal to postpone Tuesday's scheduled return flight to extend the match may now be a distant memory.
England has mastered the fourth innings chase in the Stokes-McCullum era: this was their fifth successful chase of the summer, but one that seemed routine at the start of a low-scoring thriller.
Neither side crossed the 170-run mark at the weekend, but while Lees was dropped by Jansen in the slips with the very first ball on Sunday, Crawley scored a superb 50 off 36 balls to give England almost six points per over before dusk led to the match being abandoned.
Crawley was also reprieved after reaching his maiden half-century in 17 Test innings, getting caught between wicketkeeper and first slip on Sunday night. Nevertheless, he was an assured presence at the plate on Monday morning, and that knock should silence his critics for the time being.