James Taylor cracked a joke at his own expense for finding a clumsy way to bring-up three figures for a second England century in succession, but said the serious business in South Africa is to come.

The Nottinghamshire batsman scored 114 on the opening day of the warm-up match against an Invitational XI, picking up a face full of dirt for his troubles as he dived full length to make his ground for the single that brought up three figures.

Taylor is in danger of gaining reputation for ungainly moments of glory after posting his maiden One-Day International century in September due to a farcical overthrow.

“That is not ideal,” he laughed. “It was just a poor, a very poor, judge of a single with me thinking my legs are a bit longer than they are.”

The most important factor for the 25-year-old, however, was spending time at the crease ahead of the challenge of a four match series against the world’s number one side.

“I can't complain,” Taylor continued. “It is always nice to score runs, no matter what opposition or what game you are playing in.

“Like I said, at this stage of the trip, the first week or so is about getting used to the conditions. The couple of hours I spent at the crease is going to work in my favour.

“It has been a nice year and an enjoyable year in an England shirt for me. Hopefully that can continue.

“It is obviously a massive test for me as an individual and the team as well. It doesn't really get much bigger than that – a Boxing Day Test match against the best team in the world. I cannot wait to get going.”

Alex Hales endured a less successful tour opener, posting scores of eight in each innings.

Head Coach Trevor Bayliss has already all but guaranteed the Outlaws opener a place for the first Test, and Taylor has backed his Nottinghamshire teammate to bounce back against South Africa A next week.

“I know he’s going to be frustrated but it happens,” Taylor said.

“It’s only one game and as an opener it’s a tough place to bat. You’re going to get those low scores, but I’m sure he’ll bounce back.

“He’s just as determined as everybody else to score as many runs as he can. He’s just played in the UAE - totally different conditions from here.

"Ideally, you’d score a hundred in your first game. But it doesn’t always work like that and I’m sure he’ll bounce back for the next game.”

Former Nottinghamshire fast bowler Mark Footitt, meanwhile, will be hoping to use the final warm-up game to stake his claim for a place in England’s pace bowling line-up alongside James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes.

Taylor, who arrived at Trent Bridge two years on from Footitt’s departure, is excited by England’s new 90 miles-per-hour man.

"What an exciting bowler he is," Taylor said. "Anyone who can swing it consistently at 90mph is a great asset to have and he showed in glimpses what he can do in this game.

"He's a great asset and I'm sure he'll play a big part in the series.

"Unfortunately we couldn't get a few more overs into the bowlers but that's the way it is when you come to places like the Highveld and the weather kicks in.”


England are returning to the scene of their Ashes triumph in 2016 for Royal London One-Day Internationals against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Don't miss the opportunity to watch some of the best players in the world go toe-to-toe in the unique surroundings of Trent Bridge and secure your seats now.