De Villiers delivers fresh Test warning to England

Click to follow
The Independent Online

AB de Villiers handed another warning to England by hitting a fine century as South Africa cruised to a draw in their three-day match against Bangladesh A at Worcester.

The 24-year-old retired out on 100 as his side made the most of another day of practice ahead of the Edgbaston Test which starts on Wednesday. Robin Peterson also helped himself to an undefeated 103 before the Proteas finally declared their second innings an hour after lunch.

It gave them a monster lead of 636 and at the close battered Bangladesh were 97 for two with Tamim Iqbal making 65. It was De Villiers' second successive century following his 174 in South Africa's 10-wicket triumph over England in the Headingley Test.

Paceman Andre Nel made a maiden first-class fifty and the South Africa coach Mickey Arthur backed the bowler, called up to replace Dale Steyn who is sidelined with a broken thumb, to keep the heat on England in the third Test.

Arthur said: "Any time Andre plays for South Africa he's fired up. I can't wait to see him bowl hard. I think he's going to do really well. We've backed him a huge amount over the last couple of months and I've got a feeling he is going to come through this one fantastically.

"It just shows that when you plan there has to be a queue and some succession in place. We have the ability now to lose one guy and be able to bring back a guy who is a hardened Test-match campaigner."