England 240 all out (Roy 104) beat Cricket South Africa Invitation XI 163 (Snyman 65) by 77 runs
England overcame several scares in their first game back in sky blue since the World Cup final to beat an inexperienced Cricket South Africa Invitation XI by 77 runs as they warmed up for next week's ODI series in Paarl.
Jason Roy struck a fluent 104 as he continued his comeback from a shoulder injury, but there was precious little else for England's batsmen to shout about as they were bowled out for 240 in 44.1 overs.
And it looked as though they were set for a humbling defeat when Jacques Snyman started positively in the run chase, taking them to 91 for 1 after 17.3 overs, but after Matt Parkinson and Tom Curran made breakthroughs, the hosts' raw middle order was exposed, with a collapse of nine for 72 handing England the win.
Despite the low-key nature of the contest, Roy admitted to having been a bit "giddy" at the prospect of getting back on the field with England, having been rested for the tour of New Zealand before Christmas before picking up a shoulder injury at the Mzanzi Super League.
"It was nice to get the shirt back on," he said. "I was pretty giddy getting on the plane back home to come out here. Obviously I haven't represented England for a while now so it's quite nice to get going.
"Playing a warm-up game in Paarl when the last game you played was in the World Cup final is quite difficult but we've got to build foundations again going forward for the next few years.
"[The World Cup win] is a memory that we can keep close to us, but we've got to move forward and work hard for the next four years now until the next World Cup."
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, England made a disastrous start as they slumped to 16 for 3 after 19 balls. In a passage that must have reminded the tourists' supporters of several games more than a decade ago, a fast bowler named S Tait struck early - though this time it was the left-armer Stephan, as opposed to Australia's Shaun - trapping Jonny Bairstow lbw and having Joe Root caught down the leg side first ball. Eoin Morgan then chopped on, shaping to cut Imran Manack's offspin, to leave the tourists in trouble.
Joe Denly, in an unfamiliar role at No. 5, steadied the ship with 29, but he and Tom Banton fell to Smangaliso Nhlebela's left-arm spin in quick succession to leave England five wickets down with only 109 on the board. Part-timer Andile Mokgakane bowled Sam Curran, but Roy began to find some rhythm, shifting through the gears to reach a 94-ball hundred as he added fifty for the seventh wicket alongside Chris Woakes.
Woakes continued to tick over with Tom Curran and Chris Jordan, but the wickets continued to fall as England eventually limped up to 240, Matt Parkinson the last man out with 35 balls unused.
In response, Snyman, a top-order batsman from Pretoria, started aggressively despite the early loss of Kabelo Sekhukhune, who was bowled by Sam Curran. He struck Woakes for six, before taking 14 from a Curran over, while No. 3 Jean du Plessis struck a couple of boundaries to leave the CSA XI 58 for 1 after ten overs of the chase.
But the introduction of dual spin in the form of Adil Rashid and Parkinson stemmed the flow of runs, as du Plessis was stumped off a wide and Jesse Christensen was clean bowled. Snyman's scoring dried up, as he added only one boundary after the Powerplay, and was eventually trapped in front by Tom Curran.
Curran also removed the team's senior player in Qaasim Adams, the 35-year-old Western Province batsman, before a run-out, and two wickets apiece for Woakes and Jordan sealed England's win.
One mitigating factor in England's wobbly display with the bat was a two-hour power-cut, due to load-shedding, that hit the ground midway through the first innings. It left Roy unsure of how to pace England's innings, and also caught him unawares at the moment he reached his century.
"I thought the umpire stitched me up, to be honest!" he said. "Everyone started clapping and I didn't have a feeling because I didn't get clapped for my fifty or anything.
"I could only assume it was for my hundred so I raised my bat. He said 'are you sure they are not clapping the team's 150?' I said 'I bloody hope not', as I would have looked like a bit of a muppet."
"It was frustrating without [the scoreboard] but more with the team score because you don't know where you are after 10, 15 or 20 overs. It is annoying especially when you get to the 30-over mark. You like to know where you are at that point."