England openers excel

2009-11-08 21:55

Johann de Jager

Kimberley – England captain Andrew Strauss struck the first century of his team’s cricket tour of South Africa in a victory by 8 wickets over the Warriors on Sunday.

Strauss was unbeaten on 117 (119 balls) when England comfortably passed the Warriors’ 254/5 with more than 9 overs left in their second warm-up game of the weekend.

It’s still an open question as to who will open the innings with his captain in the coming series against South Africa.

The opening stand of 175 by Strauss and Joe Denly (82, 112 b) laid the foundation for a clinical victory.

Denly hopes his innings will help him keep his place, but there is speculation that Jonathan Trott may be used as opening batsman when Kevin Pietersen returns.

“It’s good to have such internal competition. KP will obviously get back his place because he is a world class player. Trott scored runs in the previous game and fortunately I got runs now,” said Denly.

Denly said he managed to get into his stride at the wicket after initially struggling to get going.

“The ball came through quite slowly, while they also bowled a number of cutters, which made it difficult to get going,” he said.

Earlier, Arno Jacobs (83*, 83 b) and Davy Jacobs (50, 59 b) gave the Warriors’ innings substance with a partnership of 130 runs.

The touring team’s two spinners, particularly Graeme Swann (3/28), are probably the only bowlers that will have something good to say about the wicket. Three of the Warriors’ batsmen were stumped by Matt Prior.

The only wicket taken by a pace bowler was that of Davy Jacobs, who skied a delivery by Sajid Mahmood (1/36).

The pace attack had to cope without the injured Stuart Broad. The opening bowler was injured in the game against the Eagles. He experienced discomfort on Saturday morning and it was confirmed on Sunday that Broad will not play in the Twenty20 game against South Africa A.

He will have to pass a fitness test to be considered for the weekend’s Twenty20 matches against the Proteas.