Gary Ballance made 25 in Potchefstroom before departing with an ill-conceived pull.

England wickets tumble as SA Invitational XI enjoy best session of match

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England lost seven wickets on the final morning of their opening tour match against a South Africa Invitational XI.

But with an overnight lead of 381 runs and most of their batting line-up enjoying reasonable time at the crease during the match - Alex Hales being a notable exception - the tumble of wickets will not cause undue concern.

Junior Dala, the man who dismissed Hales in both innings, claimed four scalps to record impressive figures of five for 34.

Gary Ballance might have more reason than most to be frustrated, with his 25 and an awkward departure to an ill-conceived pull doing little to advance his cause.

The hosts enjoyed their best session of the match against compliant batting to take England from 99 for three to 190 all out at lunch.

That represents a notional lead of 472, with the emphasis now on assessing their pace attack for a second time.

Ballance, wearing the Three Lions for the first time since being dropped during the Ashes, resumed alongside Joe Root in the morning.

Ballance did not feature in England's first innings and would have been keen to impress ahead of the Test series, particularly given Hales' struggles.

He made exactly half of a 50 stand alongside Root, and looked untroubled before mis-hitting a half-hearted pull off Dala.

Jonny Bairstow followed for a golden duck, caught behind despite no obvious hint of bat, and Joe Root feathered Dala down the leg-side for 39.

That made it three wickets in eight balls, leaving England 136 for six.

Neither Chris Woakes nor Stuart Broad lingered long either, the former pulling straight to mid-wicket and the latter turning an attempted leave into an edge.

Dala accounted for both, handing him a memorable five-for.

Moeen Ali (20) and first-innings centurion Ben Stokes (27) came and went just before the break to leave two England two sessions in the field.

England managed only two overs before the groundstaff ushered the teams off with thunder and lightning in the distance.

It proved a wise decision as, within minutes, heavy rain and swirling wind arrived at Senwes Park.

Water immediately began pooling around the modest covers and the rain turned to hail, raising questions over the viability of any further play.

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