Cook brings up half century number 54 of his Test career. In what was a first day of "proper" Test cricket, he played a proper Test innings.
In that attack will be Kagiso Rabada after he missed out on the 340-run win at Trent Bridge that levelled the series through suspension. They were bang to rights but, rather than holding their hands up, they tried to counter the criticism. "You dream about, as a boy, wanting to play for England". South Africa learned an bad lot of good lessons between Lord's and Trent Bridge; maybe we didn't learn quite as quickly.
The England left-hander had resumed with opener Alastair Cook, who added just six runs to his overnight 82 before Morne Morkel beat his bat and trapped him leg before wicket, 12 short of a 31st test century. Morris found so much swing from the Dukes ball that he was unable to control it: he was one player, on this evidence, who did not benefit from South Africa's decision to rest between Nottingham and The Oval rather than request a further three-day match against county opposition.
Roland-Jones will hope England have a decent total under their belts before he comes on to bowl his first spell in Test cricket. It wasn't pretty, but it was hugely satisfying.
The former skipper wasted little time knocking off the four runs he needed to rise above Allan Border to ninth spot on the all-time run-scoring list but his latest opening partner, Keaton Jennings, has now scored just three runs in his last three innings after edging Philander low to Dean Elgar at third slip, to fall for a nine-ball duck.
"But everyone who takes part in the game - not just the 11 but everyone in the squad, coaches -the desire, the commitment, the fight to represent your country and do well is always there".
"I've trained as tough as I can train, so for me it's about continuing that", he said.
But the next two balls were despatched deep into the crowd as he brought up three figures in style. And even then there were only 59 overs bowled.
Remember, Haseeb Hameed, England's other success story from the winter, was left out because of his domestic form.
Jennings is not one of that trio but, after a century in his first Test innings in Mumbai late a year ago, he has really struggled.
Malan replaced allrounder Liam Dawson and Westley came in for the injured Gary Ballance.
"I don't really want to think too far outside the box [in terms of facing the South African bowlers], keep things simple and not really change the way I've been playing for Essex".
The right-hander stood tall, followed Cook's example to leave well and showed good judgement. "It's encouraging if we can get runs on the board, with our bowlers on that surface, we can be in a good position".
Anderson immediately did for Faf du Plessis, lbw shouldering arms and his recourse to DRS futile, and both he and Stokes appropriately got in on the act before the return of the previously wicketless Broad accounted for Rabada with an excellent delivery which trimmed the off bail.