Steven Finn and Alex Hales put on timely displays as England ripped through South Africa A in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.
England had a thoroughly successful day as they finalise preparations ahead of the first Test against the Proteas, bowling SA A out for 136, before closing on 64-0, 72 runs behind their opponents’ first innings total.
The South Africans will be bitterly disappointed with the way they went about their business, especially considering there are a number of players hoping to leave an impression on the national selectors. The only player that held his own was Stephen Cook, who batted through the innings to remain not out on 53.
It was Steven Finn that England had to thank for tearing through the batting order, picking up four wickets as he looks set to be fit in time for the first rubber on Boxing Day.
Jimmy Anderson was rested as he hopes to be fresh for the Test series, as left-arm paceman Mark Footit and Stuart Broad picked up a wicket apiece, while Ben Stokes continues his solid all-round form with three scalps.
Omphile Ramela and Chris Morris were the only other two batsmen to score 20 or more as Rilee Rossouw, Quinton de Kock, Khaya Zondo and Dane Vilas all posted single figures.
The visitors will be all the more delighted about their response with the bat, as Alex Hales, who got a pair of 8s against the SA Invitational side last week, struck five boundaries for his 28 not out, and will hope to build on that with skipper Alastair Cook (36) on Monday.