Willey delighted to lay down a marker

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David Willey stressed the importance of starting the Twenty20 leg of their tour of South Africa with an impressive performance.

The tourists prepared for their two-match T20 international series with the Proteas, which starts on Friday, with a 44-run victory over South Africa A at Boland Park in Paarl.

Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan both starred with the bat, hitting 78 and 42 respectively in England’s 202 for six after winning the toss.

Reece Topley then led the way with the ball by taking 3-29 while Willey and Adil Rashid, celebrating his 28th birthday, also weighed in with two wickets each.

Left-armer David Willey steams in during England's comfortable warm-up victory over South Africa A at Boland Park in Paarl

“We spoke about coming out and playing this as a third T20, making sure we got a good start and then carry that momentum into the first international T20,” the Yorkshire all-rounder told ecb.co.uk.

“It was a great win for us and the guys played well with some good individual performances in there.”

Hales continued his sensational form by blasting 78 from 52 balls, making it five fifties and a century in his last six outings for his country.

“He is playing exceptionally well. It has been a great tour for him and hopefully it can carry on in the next two games,” Willey said.

Skipper Morgan had threatened to overshadow Hales’ brilliance at the top of the order when smashing five sixes in his first 10 deliveries.

The skipper’s welcome return to form was the icing on the cake for England heading into the two matches against the Proteas ahead of the World Twenty20 in India next month.

Willey said: “He is a destructive player, as you have seen tonight with five sixes in 10 balls, so when your captain can play well and the batters and bowlers can execute what they want to do individually that is going to get results for the team.

“If we get a couple of wins here, then that is great momentum into the World Cup.”

Willey, having lost his place in the side for the final two one-day international defeats to South Africa, proved his worth with two catches and the same amount of wickets late on.

“It is just about nailing your plans,” he said. “Up front me and Toppers are looking to swing the ball and then personally coming back at the death and getting my yorkers in. It is just individual plans and making sure we are executing them.”  


Source: ECB

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