The Cape Town-born Jonathan Trott duly completed the fourth double century of his career and shared yet another century partnership – his fourth successive one of the innings – to set up England for the better of the final day of the first unofficial four-day Test against South Africa A at Boland Park on Wednesday.
To round the day off before play was abandoned at the tea interval as a draw, England produced their best team bowling effort of the game as South Africa A reached 92 for two in their second innings to still be 28 runs in arrears. In all, Trott batted for the best part of 11 hours and hit 17 fours to finish undefeated on 211.
England batted with a great deal of enterprise on the final morning, scoring 117 runs for the loss of two wickets and even left themselves with enough time to bowl four overs before lunch.
This was the result of a partnership of 106 for the seventh wicket between Trott and Liam Plunkett (55 off 77 balls, five fours and two sixes) – and even then they were not done, as Jackie Brooks was the main contributor to an unbeaten ninth wicket partnership of 63 (53 not out off 38 balls, five fours and two sixes).
South Africa were hampered by the absence of Ryan McLaren, who went for a scan to determine the extent of a left hamstring strain.
Andrew Puttick and Khaya Zondo have been released back to their franchises while Justin Ontong, Reeza Hendricks, Marchant de Lange and Kagiso Rabada (all members of the Proteas T20I squad) will rejoin South Africa A for the second four-day match, starting on Sunday.
Temba Bavuma has also made a full recovery from illness and will be available for selection.