London: Keaton Jennings survived a couple of scares against his native South Africa as England maintained their grip on the third Test at The Oval on Saturday.
England were 74 for one in their second innings, a lead of 252 runs at stumps on a gloomy third day where rain meant only 32 overs out of scheduled 98 were bowled.
Jennings was 34 not out and Tom Westley, one of three debutants in England’s XI, unbeaten on 28 in what is the 100th Test at The Oval.
Johannesburg born and raised Jennings, the 11th man tried as an England Test opener alongside Alastair Cook since Andrew Strauss retired in 2012, was under pressure for his place after a run of low scores -- including a duck in the first innings of this match.
The 25-year-old Durham left-hander, England-qualified through his mother and by residence, nearly fell cheaply again to another slip catch by Dean Elgar off Vernon Philander only for an edge on six to be dropped on this occasion.
Earlier, Temba Bavuma’s gutsy 52 helped South Africa avoid the follow-on.
His innings was the cornerstone of the Proteas’ 175 all out.