ESSEX batsman Tom Westley claimed his first half-century in Test cricket as England beat South Africa by 239 runs in the third Test at the Oval.

Westley was handed his Test debut after a string of impressive performances for Essex this season coincided with an injury to Gary Ballance.

The number three batsman hit 25 runs in his first innings at the Oval.

But he followed that up with an even better spell with the bat at the second time of asking.

Westley was able to raise his bat after scoring 50 just before lunch on day four and added another nine runs after the interval before his wicket was taken.

The 28-year-old advanced to a floating ball from South African spinner Kashav Maharaj.

But the ball gripped wide of off stump and left him in no man’s land, leaving wicketkeeper Quinton De Kock plenty of time to whip off the bails.

Joe Root, who took over the Test captaincy from Essex’s Alastair Cook earlier this year, also notched a half-century.

Jonny Bairstow top scored with 63 before England declared on 313-8, setting South Africa a tough looking 492 to triumph.

And they were unable to do so, falling 239 runs short as some excellent bowling from Moeen Ali, who took the final three wickets in consecutive balls, saw England take the win.

Westley was one of three Test debutants in the England side - along with Dawid Malan and Toby Roland-Jones.

Roland-Jones claimed a five-wicket haul in the first innings to put the home side on track for victory.

England now lead 2-1 in the series, with Westley retaining his place in the squad for the fourth and final Test which begins tomorrow (August 4) in Manchester.