POTCHEFSTROOM - James Taylor and Ben Stokes hit centuries as England's batsmen prospered on the first day of a three-day tour match against a South African Invitation team at Senwes Park on Tuesday.

Taylor hit 114 and Stokes hammered 158 as England piled up 470 for five by the close on their first day of action on a tour which includes four Tests against the host nation.

The tourists got off to a poor start as opening bowlers Thandolwethu Mnyaka and Junior Dala dismissed opening batsmen Alastair Cook and Alex Hales within the first four overs. Mnyaka struck again when he had Joe Root leg before wicket for 28 with the total on 56.

Nick Compton (58) and Taylor steadied the innings with a fourth wicket stand of 99 before Taylor and the left-handed Stokes took control against an Invitation team drawn mainly from South Africa's secondary, semi-professional first-class competition.

Taylor scored his runs off 152 balls, with 14 fours and a six, while Stokes hurried to a century off 97 balls, then cut loose to take his score to 158 off just 34 more deliveries. His innings included 23 fours and five sixes.

Both batsmen retired to give other players a chance to bat. Stokes was playing his first match since suffering a shoulder injury while fielding in the third Test against Pakistan in Sharjah last month.

England fielded what could be their batting line-up for the first Test, starting in Durban on December 26, with Hales opening the batting with skipper Cook, followed by Compton at number three, with Root, Taylor, Stokes and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow completing the top seven.

Gary Ballance, seen as a possible rival to Compton for the number three berth, did not bat on the first day although he was listed in England's 13 squad for the match. With both sides able to use 13 players, the match does not have first-class status.

Mnyaka, who plays for the Border provincial team, was the most successful bowler, taking three for 66.



A Cook lbw b Mnyaka 2

A Hales b Dala 8

N Compton lbw b Mnyaka 58

J Root c Klaasen b Phehlukwayo 28

J Taylor retired 114

B Stokes retired 158

J Bairstow b Mnyaka 35

M Ali not out 33

C Woakes not out 10

EXTRAS: (b4, lb10, nb10) 24

TOTAL: (5 wkts, 88 overs) 470

FOW: 1-6, 2-10, 3-56, 4-155, 5-450

BOWLING: Mnyaka 18-3-66-3 (3nb), Dala 10-0-47-1, Klein 13-1-90-0 (7nb), Phehlukwayo 17-4-62-1, Diseko 9-0-64-0, Claassen 8-0-42-0, Mnyanda 4-0-22-0, Markram 4-0-30-0, Seyibokwe 5-1-33-0

TOSS: England

UMPIRES: S. George, P. Jele (both RSA)