England ramped up their preparations for their white-ball series against South Africa as they played out their first of three intra-squad warm-up games at Newlands yesterday.
Eoin Morgan’s men will play three intra-squad warm-up games before their three-match T20 series against the Proteas begins on the 27th of November with the 23-man squad split into two teams, led by Morgan and Jos Buttler.
They played out their first warm-up match yesterday, a 40-over game at Newlands, with Team Buttler claiming a 50-run victory.
With competition for places very tight ahead of the two series, players will no doubt be keen to impress and with that in mind, we’ve outlined three standout performers from yesterday’s game…
Tom Curran – 4/25 and 31 (34)
The eldest of the two Curran brothers on the tour of South Africa, the 25-year-old outshone Sam and nearly everyone else at Newlands despite being part of a losing effort for Team Morgan.
The Surrey seamer took 4 wickets for 25 from his 6.1 overs in the first innings and then contributed a swashbuckling 31 with the bat, forming a lower-order partnership with Chris Woakes as his side chased the game.
England are spoilt for choice when it comes to fast bowlers but Curran has certainly done his chances no damage with his display at Newlands.
Joe Root – 77 (77) and 1-19
The England Test skipper was the pick of the batsmen at Newlands yesterday, hitting 77 and illustrating just why he’s such an integral part of the one-day side.
It was a classic innings from Root, who maneuvered the field and went at a run a ball throughout.
He is, of course, not part of the T20 squad but after yesterday’s display, there will be more than a few people questioning whether that was the right decision.
Lewis Gregory – 3/15 and 12 (10)
There were a few others that may have deserved a place on this list but Gregory’s late wickets helped secure the win for Team Buttler, something that will not have gone unnoticed by Chris Silverwood and co.
The seamer finished with figures of 3 for 15 from his 3.5 overs, removing the dangerous Moeen Ali before getting Mark Wood and Jake Ball in quick succession.
The 28-year-old was always going to have to turn a few heads in the build-up to the series if he is to displace any of the England regulars and he’s certainly made a strong start.