London: Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss gave England an ideal start in their pursuit of a target of 197 runs on the fifth day of the fourth and final Test against South Africa at the Oval on Monday.
England were 109 for no wicket at lunch.
Cook was the more aggressive of the two left-handers and was unbeaten on 58. He went to his fourth half-century of the series off 83 balls when he square cut Jacques Kallis for his tenth boundary.
Strauss, who was caught off a no-ball when he had four, was on 38 not out.
Only 11 runs were scored in the first 11 overs as Makhaya Ntini bowled accurately and Morne Morkel erratically.
When the total was on nine a plan to dismiss Strauss almost worked. Ashwell Prince was moved to leg slip, with Morkel bowling around the wicket.
Strauss obliged by glancing the ball straight to Prince but umpire Aleem Dar called no-ball because Morkel had over-stepped.
The scoring rate picked up in the 12th over when Cook off-drove and pulled Ntin for boundaries.
Left-arm spinner Paul Harris came on as first change and Cook on 16 jabbed him close to Hashim Amla at short leg. But after that the batsmen looked comfortable. South Africa lead the series 2-0.