Cape Town - England claimed a predictably large first innings advantage of 282 runs on the second day of their warm-up match against the SA Invitation XI at Senwes Park on Wednesday, but for the second time in a row some of their top batsmen failed to take full advantage of the opportunity for valuable time in the middle.
Opening batsman, Alex Hales, was bowled for the second time in the match by Junior Dala without getting into double figures while Alastair Cook and Nick Compton were also dismissed within the first 25 overs. It did, however, create the opportunity for Gary Ballance, who did not bat in the first innings, to get a run at No 5.
England reached the close on 99/3 from 30 overs for an overall lead of 381 runs going into the final day’s play.
The South African innings only had two decent partnerships with Qasim Adams and Heinrich Klaasen putting on 62 for the sixth wicket in 13.3 overs and then Thandolwethu Mnyaka and Johannes Diseko 51 for the 10th wicket.
Klaasen played a typically aggressive knock for top score of 48 off 53 balls (8 fours and a six).
The fact that the South African innings only lasted 57.1 overs meant that some of the England bowlers did not get as many overs as they would have liked with 6 different bowlers being employed. With a long Test match series ahead of him Jimmy Anderson was the last of the England bowlers to be used and only sent down 4 overs while the new ball was shared by Stuart Broad (3/18) and the left-armer, Mark Footitt (2/51).
All-rounder Ben Stokes will have been happy to follow his good batting form with a return of 2/25 from 8 overs.