Gary Ballance to miss third Test against South Africa at The Oval

Gary Ballance could return for the fourth and final Test
Gary Ballance could return for the fourth and final Test
©REUTERS
 

England middle-order batsman Gary Ballance will miss the third Test against South Africa at The Oval after sustaining a fractured finger.

The 27-year-old suffered the blow during the second game at Trent Bridge, when he was hit by a Morne Morkel delivery in the final innings following which he underwent a X-Ray on his index finger.

Ballance, who was recalled into the Test side following a successful county stint with Middlesex managed scores of 20, 34, 27 and 4 in the two matches so far in the series.

According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, Surrey's Mark Stoneman and Essex's Tom Westley are the likely contenders to replace Ballance for the third Test that kicks-off on 27th July.

Stoneman scored 58 and 86 in the two innings for England Lions in the game against South Africa A and has been one of the top performer for Surrey this season across all the formats.

Meanwhile, Westley notched an unbeaten century for the Lions in the tour game against the Proteas and has 478 County Championship runs at an average of over 50 this season.

The four-match series is currently level at 1-1 after South Africa made a strong comeback to win the second Test in Nottingham by 340 runs.

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