Swann takes 6 wickets in drawn match vs. SA XI

BY foxsports • December 10, 2009

England offspinner Graeme Swann took six wickets Thursday in the drawn two-day match against a South Africa Invitation XI, but the makeup of the visitors' pace attack for the upcoming test series still appears uncertain. Swann took 6-55 in 16 overs as the invitational team was held to 167-7 after England had made 329-8 declared in its first innings. Swann collected three wickets in four balls as he ran through the youthful opposition's batting lineup, but Graeme Onions was the only quick to pick up a wicket from a total of 31 overs he bowled along with Stuart Broad and Mark Davies. Fast bowlers Ryan Sidebottom and James Anderson are expected to play in the second warm-up game between the same sides from Friday. Sidebottom has recovered a side strain and Anderson had injured his knee but bowled in the nets on Thursday. England opener Alastair Cook scored 81 with 12 fours in 199-minute innings. He was the fifth man out after his side had resumed on 142-3 on Thursday, and several of his teammates then scored some runs to suggest decent form ahead of the first test against the Proteas, which starts Wednesday in Pretoria. Ian Bell hit 48 and Matt Prior 44 in an unbroken sixth-wicket partnership of 83 in only 77 minutes, which took England to lunch on 259-6. Bell hit four fours and a six, and Prior four boundaries, with the pair retiring on their lunchtime scores. Paul Collingwood made 33 with five fours and Swann 39 not out with seven fours to also spend fruitful time in the middle. Of the South African bowlers, left-arm seamer Charl Pietersen finished with 3-71. His victims were the first three in the order, including Cook, who was beaten by the slow pace of the pitch to hit a simple catch to captain Wendell Bossenger at mid-on 10 overs into the day's play. England declared after 41.4 overs, and struck with the ball in the fifth over when Onions trapped Andrea Agathagelou lbw for 5. Sammy-Joe Avontuur then provided the only batting highlight for the locals, crafting an innings of 68 with 10 fours. He added 42 for the second wicket with Divan van Wyk, brother of former Proteas ODI player Morne, and 45 for the fifth wicket with Bossenger. Van Wyk made 27 with six fours, while Bossenger, who hit a century in a tour match against West Indies a couple of years ago, scored 35 not out with four fours. Avontuur was stumped by Prior off Swann while attempting a big shot in the 41st over. Wiese edged a drive to first slip off the next ball, and wicketkeeper Mangaliso Mosehle only just survived his first ball before being bowled for a duck off the next delivery.

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