South Africa A v England XI, Kimberley January 30, 2016

Taylor ton sets up thumping England win


England XI 368 for 7 (Taylor 116, Bairstow 58) beat South Africa A 205 (de Bruyn 73*, Topley 3-38) by 163 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

James Taylor gets a handshake for his hundred from Jonny Bairstow © Getty Images

James Taylor scored a run-a-ball 116 to anchor the England XI against a South Africa A attack devoid of control and ensure the visitors posted a total which left their hosts in the shade. A combined effort from Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid and Reece Topley, who took three-wickets apiece, then blotted the sun out completely for South Africa A. The senior side will hope that is not a sign of things to come, especially as South Africa will probably have to call on some members of the A side for the five-match campaign.

The South Africa selectors will add bowlers to the current squad on Sunday after Dale Steyn was ruled out with a shoulder injury but none of Hardus Viljoen, Marchant de Lange or David Wiese made a case for inclusion.

They were all wayward in their opening spells and allowed Jason Roy and Alex Hales to race to 49 off the first eight overs. They clawed their way back when Roy was given out lbw off Wiese and Hales was caught off a leading edge from a delivery by de Lange to leave England 55 for 2, but South Africa A's ability to make incisions was short-lived. An 80-run partnership between captain Eoin Morgan and Taylor took England away from danger by the halfway stage.

Morgan was fluent against everyone except Wiese, who eventually accounted for him when he took a good catch moving to his left in his follow-through, while Taylor was particularly severe on left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso. Taylor rebuilt after Morgan's dismissal and allowed Moeen Ali to take over as aggressor before Moeen's enthusiasm got the better of him. He was run out in the 30th over but by then Taylor was set. His fifty came off 56 balls and he was well-placed to push England to a sizeable score.

Jos Buttler helped post 51 for the fifth wicket, from just 43 balls, but it was only when Jonny Bairstow arrived in the 38th over that England got away from South Africa. Bairstow opened the floodgates with a six off de Lange - the first of six such blows - and Taylor raised his bat to three figures shortly after as England got stuck into their assault on the last ten overs.

They scored 127 runs between overs 40 and 50 and even when Taylor was dismissed the finishers were on hand to punish South Africa's seamers - Jordan enhancing his claims for an ODI recall by smashing 33 not out from 14 balls. Viljoen and de Lange conceded 69 runs each in their 10 overs, young Andile Phehlukwayo cost the same in nine overs and Wiese leaked 73 runs. Not even the usually economical Phangiso could hold an end. He ended up as the most expensive bowler all told, leaking 57 runs off seven overs.

With a score in excess of 350 to chase, South Africa A were out of the match by the 11th over of their innings as they tumbled to 50 for 4, with Jordan snapping up three catches at slip. Promising Titan's batsman Theunis de Bruyn and discarded Test keeper Dane Vilas shared a 73-run fifth-wicket partnership before Jordan claimed his first as a bowler, Vilas chopping on.

Wiese put up some resistance with de Bruyn but when he was dismissed, there was a domino effect. South Africa A lost their last five wickets for 33 runs and were dismissed in the 31st over to give England plenty of confidence ahead of the first ODI on Wednesday.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roy on February 1, 2016, 17:00 GMT

    @SIMPLY THE BEST As one of the posters in support of Bairstow , I think you are right that this discussion has now run out of gas. I became involved because I thought that Bairstow had been undeservedly criticised both in the media and on these pages. I am pleased to say that by giving this a public airing , I am now gaining the impression that his performances in SA have led to an improvement in his approval ratings. At the same time I have no axe to grind with Buttler in ODI and T20 . Finally , I wish both of them a long and successful career.

  • Clad on February 1, 2016, 9:29 GMT

    Don't think Broad/Woakes will feature in the 1st ODI, but be interesting to see if they play Root/Stokes and if so where they will fit them in, with everyone that played the warm-up game playing a part in the win! I imagine they will stick with this team for the 1st ODI, and then possibly rotate the squad throughout the series. Good to see the strength in depth.

  • Clad on February 1, 2016, 9:25 GMT

    Bit of a pointless argument about Bairstow/Buttler as there is nothing between them behind the stumps. Buttler is the better at stumpings and tough diving catches, whereas Bairstow is the better at taking regulation catches and preventing byes. We all know who is the ODI specialist and who is shaping up to be the Test specialist and it is better for England that it stays that way.

  • Bigredmonster Bruce on February 1, 2016, 1:00 GMT

    lets hope they can do that against the real team.

  • o on January 31, 2016, 23:05 GMT

    Why are you arguing over Butler and Bairstow? Obviously both should play ahead of Hales .Johnny with the glvoes and get Root opening leaving Taylor at 3 where he has been outstanding for Notts and England in Roots absence.

  • Aubline on January 31, 2016, 21:10 GMT

    @Templar51 - Ironically, my comment contains no reference to favouring either of them. Nor did I assume that 'Buttler hadn't dropped any catches' - I actually suggested that the peddler of the stats got more evidence to bolster his claim. An even better old time answer is to question any statistically based claim which uses a small sample size. Lies, damned lies and statistics, as Mark Twain wrote a very long time ago.

  • Aubline on January 31, 2016, 20:55 GMT

    @Brahms - I considered it but can't remember any difference between the two. Where's the evidence that there is? Statistically Bairstow and de Kock are allegedly the greatest keepers in history and Buttler a duffer, yet crucially we're not actually talking about 'long careers' and are using a small sample size which is open to distortion. Compare the Ashes last summer with the SA series just finished. In the Ashes, a higher proportion of the catches behind the wicket went to the slips. In SA the position was reversed. The result was that Buttler took 12 catches in 5 games, Bairstow 19 in 4. If Bairstow is in fact better that's great, because he looks a better batsman, but it's speculation, not statistically proven fact.

  • ian on January 31, 2016, 19:59 GMT

    Never a believer that stats 'prove' anything, I am out of sympathy with those various posters who have dug two trenches, one called Buttler and t'other Bairstow. Assessing a wicketkeeper's worth is a simple matter: you rely on observation. All w/keepers drop catches and miss stumpings. The best drop very few, taking all the straightforward ones and a high proportion of the more challenging nicks. A good w/k will also convert most stumping opportunities (probably the best absolute test of a true w/k, IMO) . Then there is that other matter that no one has considered: the fulcrum/exemplar role he plays for the other fielders: he has an obligation to help the captain keep them awake, smart and upbeat. Observation (again!) tells me that Bairstow is better suited in this respect. There is an introspection in Buttler the keeper, possibly through being too taken up with his own performance. Jonny B has more the right demeanour. It's all in the watching! No more 'w/k stats', please!

  • vish on January 31, 2016, 19:48 GMT

    Would be unfair to drop Taylor. Root has to come back. Clear to ser Morgan wants himself, Stoke and Buttler at 4,5 & 6. Only way to achieve this would be Root opening but batting at his own pace which is not bad anyway! Hales misses out....might even have Vince ahead of him from what we saw from the T20 series against Pak as he didn't look flustered and technique looked sound.


    6 bowlers and a balanced batting line up. When fit Finn and Wood should cone in for Topley and Jordan

  • Richard on January 31, 2016, 17:07 GMT

    @HARRIS652 - have you considered that some keepers are better at reaching for catches ? Some keepers may have the anticipation that allows them to reach chances that others wouldn't get near. A keeper makes an effort but misses the ball doesn't look as bad as one who just reaches the ball but can't hand on to it. How else do you explain the fact that, over a long career, some keepers invariably end up with more dismissals per match than others ? Consider Gilchrist who has a noticeably better record than Healy, but was keeping to much the same attack.

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