Strauss and Pietersen cash in for England

Andrew Strauss bagged his first hundred and Kevin Pietersen his first half-century of their South African winter today as England continued preparations for next week's opening Test.

England's hosts, a South African Invitational XI, needed 82 overs to take their first authentic wicket in a stumps total of 317 for five declared on day one of two at Buffalo Park.



Strauss (100), Pietersen (71), Alastair Cook (52) and Jonathan Trott (50) all fed off a toothless attack on a sedate pitch after England had been invited to bat first in sunny conditions.



The most pressing question of the day, meanwhile, went unanswered as England batted on and therefore gave James Anderson another 24 hours to rest his injured knee before the fast bowler seeks to prove his fitness in time for Centurion.



Strauss shared an unbroken stand of 101 with Cook, and then 68 with a largely strokeless Trott - before the latter helped Pietersen add 105 more.



The changing of the guard came about not with any success for the bowlers but the decision that each batsman in turn could afford to retire his innings with appropriate runs and time at the crease under his belt.



The latter element appeared to almost entirely absorb Trott - who contributed only 24 runs from 83 balls in the second session, despite a late surge of three boundaries before tea.



He had an lbw scare on nought, Roy Adams beating his defence, and then took no chances even against a back-up attack which featured home captain Wendell Bossenger - usually a wicketkeeper - bowling laboured leg-spin.



Strauss was breaking no speed limits but outscored Trott by 55 runs to eight, on his way to 161-ball century.



The captain immediately made way for Pietersen - who promptly drove the second and third ball he faced for fours, off his namesake Charl, and then pushed a single from the fifth to overtake the dormant Trott.



He beat his partner to 50 too, England calling time on Trott the moment he finally reached his 135-ball half-century in mid-evening.



Pietersen was starting to threaten three figures when he actually lost rather than donated his wicket, holing out in the deep as he tried to add to his 12 fours from 100 balls with a big hit at off-spinner Yasseen Vallie.



Ian Bell then became the only batsman to miss a half-century, gone for single figures when he chopped a delivery from Keagan Eccles on to his stumps. Cook had earlier posted his second successive 50, while Strauss made no mistake with an obvious opportunity for a long innings - having managed only a single in the first fixture against these opponents, which finished in a draw on the same pitch yesterday.



Eccles strayed first on to the pads and then dropped short, as Strauss got himself moving with two leg-side fours.



Teenage pace bowler Aya Myoli was pacy enough to keep both Strauss and Cook on their mettle.



It was first change David Wiese who perhaps came closest to a morning wicket, with a yorker which appeared to strike Strauss on the boot when he had made 20 but must have swung too much or hit bat too - because the lbw appeal was turned down.



There were no alarms otherwise, Cook reaching his 50 first with a pull for his eighth four as Eccles continued to provide easy scoring opportunities in his second spell.



An unremarkable day meandered ever more slowly, raising doubt as to the true benefit derived by tourists who will have to adapt to a jarring change of pace next week.



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?