England beat S Africa A in T20 warm-up

Alex Hales

Alex Hales hit nine fours and three sixes in his 52-ball 78

Alex Hales continued his fine run and captain Eoin Morgan returned to form as England comfortably beat South Africa A in a Twenty20 warm-up match in Paarl.

Hales, who made a half-century in each of the five one-day internationals, scored 78, while Morgan added a cameo 13-ball 42 in England’s 202-6.

Reece Topley then took 3-29 as the hosts were restricted to 158-8 to give England a 44-run win.

The first of two T20 internationals against South Africa is on Friday.

For England, the performance of Morgan, with the World T20 to come in India in March, will be most pleasing.

After managing only 12 runs in his previous three innings, Morgan arrived at the crease with the score 138-3 and hit five sixes from the first 10 balls he faced.

He holed out in the final over of the innings, but that did not prevent the tourists from passing 200.

Topley found inswing to remove Reeza Hendricks in the first over of South Africa A’s reply but Theunis de Bruyn added impetus by taking 15 runs from one over bowled by Chris Woakes, who is not in the England squad for the World T20.

Woakes’ economy rate of 10 runs per over was the highest of England’s bowlers, but he did end a second-wicket stand of 88 when he had Morne van Wyk held at long-on.

That was the first of three wickets to fall for 14 runs, including De Bruyn slicing the impressive Adil Rashid to point. After that, England were not pushed.

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