Belfast Telegraph

Denly mans up to score his first England century

 

Joe Denly dismissed
Joe Denly dismissed "a mild case of man flu" after posting his first century as an England player, but emergency call-ups for Craig Overton and Dom Bess are proof that symptoms have hit the bowling attack harder. (stock photo)

By Rory Dollard

Joe Denly dismissed "a mild case of man flu" after posting his first century as an England player, but emergency call-ups for Craig Overton and Dom Bess are proof that symptoms have hit the bowling attack harder.

England's first week in South Africa has veered wildly from the intended script, with Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad and Jack Leach all struck down by illness and yet to take the field in either warm-up match.

Five other players and staff have also been unwell, including Denly, but none badly enough to join the trio in lockdown at the team hotel.

England have been concerned enough to draft in Somerset paceman Overton and his county colleague Bess, who fly in this morning, in a bid to swell their ranks ahead of the Boxing Day Test in Centurion.

Against South Africa A yesterday, Denly was not just fit but firing. He knocked up 103 in his side's 337 for five, the first time he has reached three figures for his country, albeit in a game that no longer carries first-class status after a request from the depleted tourists.

"I don't think I've had it quite as bad as some of the boys, just a mild case of man flu I think," Denly said. "It was fluey symptoms, bunged up, headaches... a bit under the weather. It was quite a sapping heat to be batting out there so I was a bit tired before the end but I've loaded up on medication and vitamins and I'm feeling alright."

Ollie Pope raced to 70 not out, while Rory Burns (56), Ben Stokes (47) and Joe Root (12) were dropped four times between them.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph