Burns dismissed as England make steady start on South Africa tour

Rory Burns was the only victim of a leisurely morning as England began their tour of South Africa with a low-key first session at the crease against an Invitational XI.

With Stuart Broad absent through illness, Jofra Archer dealing with a cold and Ben Stokes yet to rejoin the team after his BBC Sports Personality of the Year win, England opted to bat first in their opening two-day warm-up.

With no demons in the pitch at Benoni’s Willowmoore Park and little by way of swing through the air, despite overcast conditions early on, the tourists progressed to 76 for one.

Burns lasted just over an hour for 16 runs before taking on a short ball from left-arm seamer Stephen Tait, top-edging an attempted hook and sending a looping catch to fine leg.

Fellow opener Dom Sibley, who averaged just 12.66 on his maiden tour of New Zealand, saw out the session for 32 not out in 78 balls.

He scored the first four of the day with a streaky shot that landed safe of gully but offered no genuine chances and only a solitary, muffled lbw shout on 22.

Joe Denly was off the mark after eight balls with an authoritative pull off Tait and hit the ropes four more times, including a sweet straight drive when spinner Kyle Simmonds entered the attack just before the break.

He looked in good touch and went to lunch on 23no.