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Carberry ton gives EPP the edge

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Michael Carberry

Michael Carberry's century was the centrepiece of the EPP's 483, which opened up a 155-run first-innings lead

Michael Carberry hit a composed century as the England Performance Programme established a healthy first-innings lead on day three of their practice match against Gauteng.

The Hampshire batsman, returning from a broken finger which prematurely ended his season, made 100 and was well supported by James Taylor (65) and Adil Rashid (37) as the tourists amassed 483 in reply to Gauteng’s 328 at the LC de Villiers Sports Ground in Pretoria.

The hosts reduced the 155-run deficit by 50 for the loss of a solitary second-innings wicket before the close.

Resuming on 239 for two, England lost Ian Bell early on, bowled by Ugasen Govender after adding just two to his overnight 51, and wicketkeeper Steve Davies fell lbw for 13 before Carberry was forced off the field with an abdominal injury.

While Taylor was patiently compiling his half-century - five of England’s top six passed 50 - Rashid wasted little time hitting 37 off 30 balls with six boundaries, only to be bowled by Johnson Mafa.

Carberry returned and completed his century off 174 balls with 14 fours and three sixes, only to perish next ball.

Tabraiz Shamsi, bowling chinamen, trapped Taylor leg before but the England tail of Liam Plunkett, Amjad Khan and Steven Finn further frustrated the hosts.

England had 21 overs in which to inflict some damage on the Strikers top order in a bid to force victory, but only Durham’s Mark Davies, who bowled opener Richard das Neves for one, managed a breakthrough.

Gauteng closed 50 for one, still 105 adrift. But with one day remaining on a flat track England’s chances of a moral-boosting win before six of their line-up join the Test squad appear to rely on early wickets tomorrow.