England : Ben Stokes and James Taylor begin with centuries
December 27, 2015, 8:08 am    

Ben Stokes and James Taylor struck unbeaten centuries before retiring as England amassed 470-5 off 88 of their allotted 100 overs on day one of their warm-up match against a South African Invitation XI, in Potchefstroom.

Stokes proved he has recovered from his recent shoulder injury by cracking five sixes in a cavalier innings of 158 off 131 balls, while Taylor totted up 114 from 152 deliveries before stepping aside to give Jonny Bairstow (35) and Moeen Ali (33no) time in the middle.
Reflecting on his knock, Stokes told Sky Sports News HQ: "I`ve got back to fitness quicker than I thought I was going to. I had two or three weeks back home in the indoor nets with Durham and then had a couple of good training sessions.
"It`s always nice to get runs in these warm-up games but now it`s just a case of not getting too far ahead of myself and trying to keep the same form that I`ve shown here and take it into the first Test.

"I`m fully fit to bowl; I`ve done the same amount of bowling work back home as I have done batting."
England will add James Anderson and Gary Ballance to their line-up after it was agreed each side could use 13 players in the match, which does not have first-class status.
The tourists rallied after slipping to 10-2 - captain Alastair Cook falling lbw to Thandolwethu Mnyaka for six before Alex Hales, aiming to win his maiden Test cap in the first Test against South Africa on Boxing Day, was bowled leaving Junior Dala.
vLive Test CricketS Africa vs EnglandDecember 26, 2015, 7:30amSky Sports 2 HD  Get a Sky Sports PassUpgrade to Sky SportsNick Compton - vying with Ballance for a spot in the top-order - boosted his Test claims with a measured 58 off 120 deliveries, 95 of which were dot balls, reaching his fifty after being dropped at slip on 49.
Joe Root dealt solely in boundaries, hitting seven fours in total, before going after Andile Phehlukwayo - one of nine bowlers used - and snicking through to wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen.
Stokes and Taylor improved the run-rate further - the Durham all-rounder reaching 50 with a six over midwicket before sprinting to three figures off a further 38 balls.
Taylor had already registered the first century of the tour, off 137 balls, and duly stepped aside just as Stokes was cutting loose.

From 155-4, the tourists didn`t take a wicket until 450-5 when Bairstow was cleaned out by Mnyaka.
Speaking at stumps Stokes, reflecting on Taylor`s hundred, said: "He`s done really well since he`s come back into the team. He had good Test and one-day series in the UAE and it`s good to see him performing out here as well."
Coverage of the first Test between South Africa and England in Durban gets underway at 7.30am on Boxing Day morning on Sky Sports 2 HD.


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