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Star Jon's hot to Trott in guiding England home

JONATHAN TROTT cemented his place in the England top order after guiding the tourists to a fighting four-wicket victory over a strong South Africa A side in a thrilling encounter at Potchefstroom last night.<br /><br />The South African-born batsman smashed 78 from 89 balls to lead the injury-hit tourists to a daunting victory target of 279-9 and give them a huge boost ahead of the opening one-day international with the Proteas in Johannesburg on Friday.<br /><br />Captain Andrew Strauss (65) and wicketkeeper Matt Prior (54) also struck half-centuries while all-rounder Luke Wright&rsquo;s quickfire 25no led his side home with 11 balls to spare.<br /><br />With Alastair Cook joining Paul Collingwood, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann on the sidelines, England had just 11 players available, while bowling coach Ottis Gibson was forced to undertake some 12th man duties on the field.<br /><br />Opting to bat first, captain Hashim Amla (37) and Andrew Puttick (62) put on 77 for the first wicket before Wright struck with the first of his two wickets. Graham Onions got off the mark with 2-46 off nine overs, but Heino Kuhn&rsquo;s 42 helped his side to a respectable score.<br /><br />Strauss and Joe Denly (23) got England off to an encouraging start in reply with 68 for the first wicket, but despite the early loss of Kevin Pietersen for four, steady batting from Trott and Prior, and a swansong from Wright, saw the tourists home.<br />