Denly heroics rally EPP
Joe Denly struck an astonishing unbeaten 188 to rescue the England Performance Programme from a perilous position on the first day of four against Nashua Titans at the LC de Villiers Oval in Pretoria.
The Kent batsman, normally an opener, came in at three and watched five team-mates depart in quick succession as the tourists slipped to 133 for six.
However, the right-hander combined with county team-mate James Tredwell to add 199 for the seventh wicket against a side led by Lancashire all-rounder Francois Du Plessis.
Tredwell fell lbw for 70 to become impressive seamer Basheer Walters’ third victim, but the EPP closed on a strong 345 for seven.
Denly, who played in England’s two Twenty20 international against South Africa last month, hit 23 fours and four sixes from 251 deliveries.
Walters made good use of the new ball and early moisture to remove openers Stephen Moore and Michael Carberry.
England’s middle order largely accounted for their own downfall with a series of poor shots as captain Andrew Gale, Rory Hamilton-Brown and Adil Rashid went cheaply.
Only Craig Kieswetter got in but leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who has moved from Hampshire to Warwickshire, trapped him in front for 25.
Tredwell, called-up by England as cover for Graeme Swann in the one-day series, accompanied Denly - whose innings included an impressive array of strong shots down the ground and a number of cleanly executed pulls off the back foot.
Late in the day Tredwell perished to the new ball but Ajmal Shahzad was unbeaten on six at the close.
As was in last week’s victory over Gauteng Strikers, the EPP named a 12-man team, with only 11 players permitted to bat.