Image: Cricket – England Nets – Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – 12/10/15 England head coach Trevor Bayliss Action Images via Reuters / Jason O’Brien Livepic/Files
DURBAN (Reuters) – Victory in their last warm-up game before the first test against South Africa has delighted England coach Trevor Bayliss, who sees it as a good omen for the four-test series that starts on Saturday.
“It’s good to have a win,” he told England cricket’s website (ecb.co.uk) on Wednesday. “I’m a believer in playing some four-day games leading up to the test series and I think it’s important to actually get into a winning habit and not just be going through the motions as teams can in practice games sometimes.
“This one served the purpose beautifully, we batted well and we bowled well and we won the game so that’s a good sign going forward.”
England beat a strong South Africa A team by an innings and 91 runs in Pietermaritzburg on Monday, having drawn their first match against a South African Invitation XI in Potchefstroom where bad weather brought a premature close to proceedings.
The matches saw all top six of England’s batsmen score 50 or more and bowler Steven Finn continue his recovery from injury with a six-wicket haul against South Africa A.
“It was good to see our top four guys score runs. I think to be successful in this series against South Africa, the top four guys are going to have to play very well so it’s good for them to spend some time in the middle leading up to this first test.
“It’s been a good 12 days that we’ve been here. Some good practice days and two good hit-outs as well.
Everyone has scored some runs and taken some wickets so I think preparation wise, it’s as good as we could have hoped for getting ready to play the number-one team in the world,” Bayliss added.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Justin Palmer)
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