LONDON – Joe Denly's fluent 94 put England in control of the final Ashes Test and the hosts moved on to 313 for eight to lead Australia by 382 runs at the close on the third day on Saturday.
Denly fell six runs short of his maiden test century and Ben Stokes made a sparkling 67 in bright sunshine at The Oval to put England in a strong position to level the series at 2-2.
Australia ensured they will retain the Ashes by winning the fourth test in Manchester and are bidding to secure their first test series victory in England since 2001.
Denly and Stokes came together after England lost Rory Burns for 20 and Joe Root (21) in the morning.
Burns had driven Peter Siddle sweetly through mid-off to bring up the first half-century opening stand of the series but he departed after a wild slash at a wide ball from spinner Nathan Lyon which he edged to wicketkeeper Tim Paine.