Joe Root works the ball off his legs

Tour match, Potchefstroom (day two of three):
England 470-5 & 99-3: Cook 37, Root 26*
South Africa Invitation XI 188: Klaasen 48, Broad 3-18
England lead by 381 runs

England opener Alex Hales made another low score on day two of their three-day tour match against a South Africa Invitation XI in Potchefstroom.

Having made eight in the first innings, Hales took 42 balls to make the same score when England batted again.

England declared on their overnight 470-5 and bowled the home side out for 188, with Stuart Broad taking 3-18 and uncapped left-armer Mark Footitt 2-51.

Alastair Cook made 37 and Joe Root an unbeaten 26 as England closed on 99-3.

Hales, who made his maiden one-day international century in the series with Pakistan last month, is expected to become the eighth man tried at the top of the Test order since Andrew Strauss retired in 2012 when the first of four Tests against South Africa begins in Durban on 26 December.

But the 26-year-old Nottinghamshire batsman, uncapped at Test level, was again dismissed by paceman Junior Dala as his backward defensive shot cannoned into his stumps.

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Skipper Cook was lbw playing across the line, while Nick Compton, hoping to earn a Test recall after a two-and-a-half-year absence, lofted left-arm spinner Johannes Diseko to long-off.

Root added an unbroken 14 with Gary Ballance as the tourists closed the penultimate day with a lead of 381.

Earlier, Broad struck with the fourth ball of the home side’s innings and conceded only six runs from his first four overs.

South Africa Under-19 captain Aiden Markram edged the fourth ball of the morning low into Cook’s hands at first slip and Luthando Mnyanda lost his off stump to an inside edge.

Footitt shared the new ball and was hit for nine boundaries in his 12 overs, Heinrich Klaasen striking four in the space of seven deliveries, but the Surrey seamer had Zubayr Hamza well caught low to his right by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow and left-hander Qaasim Adams lbw.

England celebrate another Stuart Broad wicket in South Africa

England’s record Test wicket-taker James Anderson found himself in the unusual position of being the sixth bowler used, sending down four overs for 19 in the 13-a-side fixture, in which the customary 11 are permitted to bat and field.

All-rounder Chris Woakes insisted there were no concerns about the form of Hales ahead of the first Test.

“He probably hasn’t had the time in the middle he’d like, but we’re only two days into the tour and there’s plenty of time to get into nick,” he said.

“He’s a great player and he deserves his opportunity. Fingers crossed in the next week or two before the first Test he can get some more time out there and show what he can do.”

The seamer, who took 1-35, said of his own form: “I was in good rhythm and my pace was up.

“You’d expect Stokesy, Broady and Jimmy to be in the starting XI so there is a space up for grabs.

“Fingers crossed I can put in some performances and get my name in that first team.”


By Adam