England 294 (Buttler 70, Root 57, Marsh 5-46) and 313 for 8 (Denly 94, Stokes 67, Lyon 3-65) lead Australia 225 (Smith 80, Archer 6-62) by 382 runs
London: Joe Denly narrowly missed out on a maiden century but still helped England into a match-winning position on the third day of the final Ashes Test against Australia at The Oval on Saturday.
Two days after his wife gave birth to their second child, opener Denly made 94 to all but secure his place on England's winter tours.
After being dropped on nought on the second evening, the Kent man also should have been given lbw on 54 to Mitchell Marsh, only for Australia to opt against a review.
He was eventually bowled by Peter Siddle after sharing a third-wicket stand of 127 with Ben Stokes, who oozed class for his 67.
Jos Buttler sparkled in his 47 before a late Australia improvement left England 313-8, 382 ahead.
With two days remaining and the pitch beginning to show signs of turn, England are primed to level the series at 2-2.
Though Australia have already retained the Ashes, defeat here would deny them a first series win in England since 2001.
The home side are also looking to avoid a first home loss to anyone in five years.