Wainwright spins EPP to victory
David Wainwright’s five-wicket haul helped England Performance Programme record an unlikely final-day win over Gauteng Strikers in their practice match.
The Yorkshire left-arm spinner ripped through the hosts' batting line-up after lunch at the LC de Villiers Sports Ground in Pretoria to finish with 5-25 as the EPP triumphed by nine wickets.
His sensational spell helped bowl the Strikers out for 211, and left the EPP chasing just 57 for victory. It was a target they achieved with few problems, thanks in the main to Alastair Cook's unbeaten 29.
Gauteng resumed their second innings this morning on 50 for one, 105 adrift of an EPP outfit which had racked up 483 in their first innings on the back of Michael Carberry’s century.
Durham seamer Mark Davies, who was denied a five-wicket tally in the first innings after a bizarre incident that saw his boots cleared away by groundstaff and prevented him from taking to the field, responded with the wicket of Devon Conway for 29.
At 151 for two at lunch, Gauteng looked comfortable, particularly with England’s Andrew Gale going well - he was playing for the opposition under an agreement that allowed more of the tourists to get a game.
But captain Cook’s decision to turn to the Yorkshire spin duo of Wainwright and Adil Rashid for much of the afternoon reaped dividends as the pair shared seven wickets.
Dane Vilas was first to go, trapped lbw by Wainwright after making a rapid half-century.
Shane Burger then served up a catch to Cook next ball, and, although Heinrich le Roux kept out the hat-trick ball, Wainwright soon had him trapped in front for two.
Gale, batting at three, was still there as he patiently set about trying to save the game, but could only look on as Wainright, his county team-mate, completed his five-wicket haul.
Gale missed out on a century as Cook ran him out for 96, leaving leg-spinner Rashid to pick up the last two wickets.
Despite Stephen Moore falling early on for 16, Cook and Ian Bell saw England over the line in little more than 10 overs.
Cook and Bell are among six of the England players who will now join the Test squad shortly - along with Rashid, Steven Davies, Liam Plunkett and Ryan Sidebottom - presumably with their morale suitably high after an impressive win which seemed unlikely when the hosts closed the first day on 311 for six on a good pitch.
The EPP players will return to training at the Pretoria High Performance Centre, before taking on a Nashua Titans XI next week.