England appear a little short of match practice heading towards their first Test against South Africa after a first warm-up match against an Invitational XI at Senwes Park was abandoned on day three.
The tourists, who will face an 'A' team in Pietermaritzburg on 20 December before the series gets under way on Boxing Day, held a commanding lead of 467 despite a second innings collapse but had to settle for a draw after a persistent thunderstorm called a halt to proceedings.
England's batting malaise began after they pushed their advantage past 400 before losing three wickets for just a solitary run in a disappointing morning spell. Gary Ballance was the first to fall as he failed to deal with a short delivery from Junior Dala and pulled the ball to Luthando Mnyanda for 25, while Jonny Bairstow secured an embarrassing golden duck when he was caught by wicket-keeper Heinrich Klaasen off the bowling of Dieter Klein. Vice-captain Joe Root notched an unbeaten 39, but could not reach his half-century as he was caught down the leg-side.
Trevor Bayliss will have hoped to have used more of day three for vital batting practice, yet his side were reduced to 142-7 when Chris Woakes hit Dala to Mnyanda stationed at mid-wicket. Stuart Broad then became the bowler's fifth and final scalp of the innings when he edged behind. Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes provided something of a mini-fightback before lunch, contributing scores of 20 and 27 respectively before the former was caught by Klaasen and Stokes was removed by Somila Seyibokwe off Phehlukwayo. James Taylor faced five balls for no runs batting as a rather unconventional number 11 after his first-innings ton.
With no declaration necessary, England, all out for 190, had two sessions to claim 10 wickets but were able to fit in just two overs from Jimmy Anderson and Mark Footitt before the weather forced play to be suspended. Simon Khomari scored five for the hosts but that was to prove the end of the match as the thunder and lightning prevented the visiting bowlers from securing a serious workout.