Alastair Cook & Joe Root hit tour centuries against South Africa A

Joe Root during his century
Root has made 16 centuries and 29 fifties in 83 first-class matches
Tour match, Pietermaritzburg (day two of three):
South Africa A 136 & 35-2: Moeen 1-0
England 414-6 dec: Cook 126, Root 117
England lead by 243 runs
Scorecard

Captain Alastair Cook and Joe Root struck centuries on day two of England's three-day tour match with South Africa A in Pietermaritzburg.

Cook hit 126, sharing an opening stand of 112 with Alex Hales, who made 56.

The skipper reached 100 with a pulled six - his second of his innings - while Root made 117 off 125 deliveries.

Ben Stokes' 47-ball 66 helped England declare on 414-6 before they reduced the hosts to 35-2 - 243 behind with one day remaining at the City Oval.

The game is England's last before the four-Test series against South Africa begins on 26 December in Durban.

Hales scored only 16 runs in two innings in England's drawn opening warm-up game in Potchefstroom last week.

However, he hit nine fours in his 102-ball innings, which ended when he was bowled by a Dane Paterson inswinger.

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Nick Compton, who is expected to make his Test return at number three after a two-and-a-half-year absence, scored 29 from 74 balls before he was trapped lbw.

Cook, who struck 16 fours, lobbed spinner Keshav Maharaj to mid-on but Root raced to 50 off 60 balls and brought up his century off 116.

He departed to a top-edged a pull to backward square-leg.

Trailing by 278 on first innings, South Africa A lost Stephen Cook - lbw to Stuart Broad - before for Moeen Ali bowled Reeza Hendricks from round the wicket in the 11 overs possible before the close.

Root told BBC Sport: "In the last game we had a small collapse so to put that right in this game was vitally important.

"There was some great time in the middle for a lot of the guys and we set the game up nicely so hopefully we can get a really strong result, which is exactly what we want from this fixture."

South Africa Test series dates
26-30 Dec: 1st Test, Durban14-18 Jan: 3rd Test, Johannesburg
2-6 Jan: 2nd Test, Cape Town22-26 Jan: 4th Test, Centurion

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