Steven Finn and Ben Stokes both impressed with the ball as England trailed by 72 runs at the end of day one in their second tour match against South Africa 'A'. The hosts were bowled out for just 136 at the City Oval in Pietermaritzburg, with openers Alastair Cook and Alex Hales combining for 64 in reply before bad light called a halt to proceedings.
Looking to earn a place for the Test series against the Proteas which begins in Durban on Boxing Day, Finn, who joined up with the squad last week after recovering from a foot injury, finished with figures of four for 34 and three maidens from his 12 overs. Rival paceman Mark Footitt actually secured the first wicket of the morning session, Reeza Hendricks caught behind by wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow.
Stuart Broad then claimed his solitary scalp when Rilee Rossouw befell a similar fate, but the next spate of dismissals belonged to the impressive Finn as Quinton de Kock first edged to Hales. After lunch, Omphile Ramela's shot was claimed by James Taylor at point, while Khayelihle Zondo was out for a golden duck next ball after finding Joe Root in the slips.
The Middlesex seamer could not claim a hat-trick, but his final wicket was not far behind as he trapped captain Dane Vilas lbw for four. Stokes later got in on the act as Chris Morris added 21 before he was also caught by Root and Keshav Maharaj was run-out by Hales after tea.
Marchant de Lange went scoreless as he edged a Stokes delivery behind to the grateful Bairstow and the final wicket of the innings fell when Dane Paterson was comprehensively bowled by the Durham all-rounder. Stephen Cook passed 11,000 first-class runs as he dug in for over four hours and made 53 not out.