Strauss hundred eases England home
England 256 for 2 (Strauss 117*, Denly 82) beat Warriors 254 for 5 (A Jacobs 83*, D Jacobs 50, Swann 3-26) by eight wickets
Andrew Strauss continued England's confident build-up in South Africa with an unbeaten 117 as the tourists comfortably chased down the Warriors' competitive 254 for an eight-wicket victory in Kimberley. The bowlers were given a much tougher workout than against the Eagles two days ago, but Strauss and Joe Denly made the target appear simple with an opening stand of 175 in 28 overs as the win came with more than nine overs to spare.
Denly's innings was timely after his failure in the first warm-up game and the corresponding success for Jonathan Trott and Eoin Morgan. The expectation is one of that trio will miss out when Kevin Pietersen returns, but with them all showing promising form the selectors will be faced with a tough decision. There has rarely been any concern over Strauss's form in recent times, but it is always good for a touring side to have their captain in the runs and his hundred followed a confident 72 against the Eagles.
The opening pair wasn't particularly tested by the Warriors attack and increased the tempo steadily throughout their partnership. Denly managed two sixes and Strauss also cleared the ropes with a strong blow over long off in another display of how his limited-overs game continues to develop. One area Andy Flower is targeting for improvement during this one-day series is England's boundary-hitting and the early signs have been encouraging, although clubbing Dale Steyn and Co. will be a different matter.
Denly picked out long on with a century for the taking, but Strauss didn't miss out and reached three figures from 109 balls. Alastair Cook was given an outing in place of Trott and collected 34 off 36 balls, adding 53 in nine overs with Strauss, before picking out square leg with the target nearing. Paul Collingwood helped finish off the chase.
After needing barely half their overs to knock over the Eagles on Friday, a full stint in the field won't have done the tourists any harm as they prepare for the Twenty20 internationals. Their bowling resources are being stretched at present with Stuart Broad ruled out with his shoulder injury which, although not serious, means he won't play the remaining practice games and Graham Onions is still sidelined with a stiff back.
Tim Bresnan was drafted in as Broad's replacement, while Adil Rashid was selected ahead of Luke Wright. This time the quicks struggled for rewards on a flat surface, but Graeme Swann impressed as he claimed 3 for 26 during a controlled spell that kept the scoring rate under control.
Bresnan shared the new ball alongside James Anderson but neither could find an early breakthrough as Justin Kreusch and Riaan Jeggels added 60 for the first wicket. Kreusch was dropped off a no-ball when Strauss put down a chance at mid-off, but it wouldn't have counted because England had too many fielders outside the circle during the Powerplay. It didn't prove costly, however, as Kreusch was stumped in Rashid's first over and it was England's spinners who made scoring harder for the batsmen.
Swann took a simple return catch to remove Jeggels and Matt Prior collected his second stumping when Colin Ingram was beaten outside off. The two Jacobs set about rebuilding the innings and took advantage of some loose deliveries from Rashid and also tucked into Collingwood's medium pace which was unusually expense.
Arno Jacobs went to his fifty from 59 balls and Davey Jacobs joined him with a boundary off Sajid Mahmood but fell next ball as he tried to go over the top. Swann returned to claim his third and England did well during the closing stages of the innings, with the final five overs yielding just 26 runs as Jacobs lost the strike and with it the chance of a hundred.