James Taylor century helps England to big total in Kimberley

Published: Saturday 30th January 2016 by The News Editor

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James Taylor’s canny century underpinned England’s 368 for seven in their one-day international warm-up match against South Africa A at the Diamond Oval.

Taylor (116) assessed conditions typically well, on a slow surface, and it was he who stayed the course – combining to most telling effect with Jonny Bairstow (58) as England upped the ante to bag 127 runs in the last 10 overs.

The diminutive number three reached his 15th List A century in 105 balls, having hit seven fours and a six, and then kept Bairstow company while the Yorkshire strongman hit five sixes in his 28-ball 50.

It had been tougher against the new ball, after Eoin Morgan won the toss under initially cloudless skies and in searing heat.

Both openers got a start, but went in successive overs either side of the England 50.

Jason Roy had just hoisted Marchant de Lange impressively over long-off for six, when at the other end he was lbw to a full delivery in first-change David Wiese’s second over.

After his Test travails, Alex Hales could have done with more than 23 but had to settle for that many – poking an ugly shot to mid-on after a change of pace by De Lange appeared to deceive him.

Taylor and Morgan each got off the mark with a slice of luck.

Taylor advanced and edged Wiese high over slip for his four, and Morgan’s came off an inside-edge past off-stump.

They were increasingly assured, though, in an 80-run stand until Morgan clubbed a low full toss back towards Wiese – who pulled off a very good one-handed caught-and-bowled diving to his left.

Moeen Ali batted fluently, and struck slow left-armer Aaron Phangiso for two lovely leg-side sixes in his short stay – but his luck was out, run out backing up when De Lange deflected a Taylor straight-drive.

Taylor had England in position nonetheless, on 185 for four at the 30-over mark – and although Jos Buttler could not mark his return with a major contribution, after seven weeks supporting the Test side, England stayed on course for 350.

They completed the task too, Bairstow and Chris Jordan providing the muscle and taking the innings six count to 13 with eight between them on a card which featured no single-figure dismissal.

Taylor eventually fell to a smart catch at wide mid-off in the penultimate over but by then had figured in all three of England’s three half-century stands, and two more of 46 and 34.

Published: Saturday 30th January 2016 by The News Editor

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