England time victory burst perfectly against SA A

Published Nov. 18, 2009 1:18 a.m. EST

England defeated a competitive South Africa A by six wickets with 11 balls to spare in a 50-over warmup game on Tuesday. The touring side, which begins a five-match one-day series against the Proteas in Johannesburg on Friday, reached 281-6 thanks to half-centuries from South African-born players Jonathan Trott, Andrew Strauss and Matt Prior, in reply to the South Africa second-string's 279-9 in 50 overs. Man-of-the-match Trott hit 78 off 89 balls, with five fours and a six. His captain Stauss hit seven fours in his 71-ball innings of 65, and Prior contributed 54 off 48 balls with seven fours and a six. Prior and Luke Wright (25 not out off 14 balls) accelerated superbly in the last overs to add 46 off four overs, although Prior was bowled off the penultimate ball of the match by seamer CJ de Villiers. England got off to a good start in pursuit, with Strauss and Joe Denly making 68 until Denly was dismissed for 23 off 29 balls in the 12th over, having hit three fours. South Africa A only had five bowlers but the fifth, part-time left-arm spinner Dean Elgar, did an excellent containing job in the middle overs, conceding just 40 runs in his 10 overs. He put the shackles on Kevin Pietersen, who fell to seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe in the 28th over after scratching together four runs off 17 balls. Trott stood firm, though, following up his 51 in a Twenty20 against South Africa on Sunday with another influential innings. He was eventually out at the end of the 44th over, at which point England required 49 runs off 36 balls. Prior and Wright sped up at that point, and the South African bowlers wilted. Wright hit two fours and a six, and finished the game by smashing Tsotsobe over cover-point for four. Of the South African bowlers, De Villiers finished with 2-61, and Rory Kleinveldt took 2-57. Tsotsobe and Morne Morkel took a wicket apiece. Earlier, opening batsman Andrew Puttick hit 62 off 74 balls for South Africa A. His boundary count was five fours, but none of his teammates converted good starts into big scores. Puttick and captain Hashim Amla put on 77 runs for the first wicket off 14.4 overs. Amla hit 37 off 43 balls with four fours. An important contribution was wicketkeeper Hein Kuhn's 42 not out off 46 balls batting at No 7. He hit five fours and added 40 off 5.4 overs for the eighth wicket with Morkel, who contributed a 22-ball 29, with four fours and a six. Three other A batsmen got into the 20s. The best bowlers for England were Graham Onions, playing his first match on tour, and Luke Wright. Onions finished with 2-46, claiming the wickets of Vaughn van Jaarsveld (26) and Elgar (5). Wright's haul was 2-48. He broke the opening partnership by having Amla caught by Strauss at midwicket, and then bowled the dangerous Herschelle Gibbs for 24. Denly, Saj Mahmood and Tim Bresnan each took one wicket for England.