Cape Town - England completed their preparation for the forthcoming Sunfoil Test series against the Proteas with an innings and 91 runs victory over South Africa 'A' with more than half a day to spare at the Maritzburg Oval on Tuesday.
Moeen Ali, by taking 6/77 in 14.5 overs, made it a particularly satisfying morning for England as it meant that all their frontline bowlers had come through the game in very good shape and full of confidence.
Ironically, the home side had their best period of play of the entire match when Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw put on 67 for the fourth wicket in 15 overs but it was typical of the team’s performance throughout the match that they were unable to convert it into anything really substantial.
De Kock finished on 53 (64 balls, 10 fours) and, once he was dismissed the last six wickets fell for 85 runs mainly as the result of some cavalier hitting from Keshav Maharaj.
There can be no excuses for such a poor South African performance. With the exception of Stephen Cook they have all come off a diet of 20 overs cricket and it showed in some of the execution both with bat and ball but at the same time these matches offer wonderful opportunities for the participants to put pressure on the Proteas incumbents and this certainly did not happen in this match.