Gauteng XI v England Lions, Tour match, Soweto, 3rd day January 7, 2015

Trott begins long road back

ESPNcricinfo staff

Gauteng Invitation XI 179 (Wood 4-29) and 120 for 8 (Rashid 2-14) drew with England Lions 443 (Robson 109, Lyth 106) and 176 for 5 dec. (Trott 79*)

Jonathan Trott, given the captaincy of England Lions as he attempts to rebuild his England career, struck a heartening half-century as England Lions narrowly failed to force victory in Soweto in the only warm-up match of their South Africa tour.

The Gauteng Invitation XI held on for a draw with two wickets remaining thanks to an approaching electrical storm, leaving Trott to contemplate his success in a non first-class practice match about as far away from the heat of international cricket as it was possible to be.

Trott failed to make an impact in a first innings - his first for an England side since he left the Ashes tour prematurely with a stress-related illness - as Adam Lyth, Sam Robson and Alex Lees all scored heavily, but he calmly got on with the task with an unbeaten 79.

Sam Billings - given a knock despite not being named in the initial XI - also made a half-century before retiring. He shared 115 for the fourth wicket with Trott and pushed the Lions out of sight. They declared setting their hosts 441 to win in little over two sessions.

The Lions' seamers - six in all plus two spinners in this squad practice game - then got to work again but with 14 overs remaining, the players left the field for safety reasons, enabling Bradley Dial's 35 in 81 balls to secure a draw.