Jonathan Trott: England Lions batsman scores 79 in Soweto draw

Jonathan Trott
Trott has scored 3,763 runs in 49 Tests
Tour match, Soweto (day three of three):
England Lions 443 & 176-5 dec drew with Gauteng Invitation XI 179 & 120-8
Scorecard (external website)external-link

Captain Jonathan Trott hit 79 from 127 balls as England Lions drew their opening tour game against a Gauteng Invitation XI in Soweto, South Africa.

It was his first game for an England side since he left the 2013-14 Ashes tour with a "stress-related illness".

Kent batsman Sam Billings hit 53 before retiring as Trott eventually declared at 176-5 to set Gauteng 441 to win.

The Lions pace attack reduced the hosts to 57-5 but they were 120-8 when a draw was agreed with a storm approaching.

"I'm feeling really good," said Trott. "It's nice obviously to get some runs today and go to Cape Town with a bit of confidence and hopefully continue that in Paarl.

"It's been an interesting challenge for me captaining as well, I haven't done it for a while but I've always enjoyed it."

With all 15 members of England's touring squad able to take part, the five-strong pace attack of Liam Plunkett, Jack Brooks, Mark Wood, Boyd Rankin and Matt Dunn took a wicket apiece before spinners Adil Rashid (2-14) and Adam Riley were given a chance.

Sam Robson (109), Adam Lyth (106) and Alex Lees (85) - all contenders to be Alastair Cook's opening partner in the Test XI - had piled on the runs on day one as Trott fell for six, before the Lions were bowled out for 443 early on day two.

Durham pace bowler Wood then took 4-29 on day two as Gauteng made 179 in reply, but Trott declined to enforce the follow-on, opting to give his batsmen more time in the middle.

South Africa-born Trott spent four months away from cricket after leaving Australia in November 2013, during which time he said his departure was down to being "emotionally and mentally spent".

When he returned, he was part of the Warwickshire squad for less than a month before a recurrence of his anxiety issues forced him to take a month-long break.

Returning to county cricket in May, he averaged 47.69 in the County Championship, scoring three hundreds, while averaging 54.22 in the One-Day Cup where the Bears were losing finalists.

The Lions will now play two four-day games and five one-day matches against South Africa A, starting in Paarl on Sunday.

Trott timeline
Jun 2007: Makes England debut in a Twenty20 international against West Indies
Aug 2009: Scores a century on Test debut in the fifth and deciding Ashes Test against Australia
May 2010: Makes 226 against Bangladesh at Lord's, his highest Test score
2010-11: Scores 445 run as England win Ashes in Australia for the first time in 24 years
Sep 2011: Named ICC cricketer of the year
2013: Part of the England side that retains the Ashes, his third series win over Australia
Nov 2013: Leaves Australia after first Test defeat, with England going on to lose 5-0
May 2014: Makes second comeback after initial return lasted less than a month
Oct 2014: Handed first international call-up in a year with inclusion in England Lions squad
Jan 2015: Makes six from 13 balls on his return for England Lions against Gauteng XI, then hits 79 in second innings

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