East London, South Africa:England captain Andrew Strauss hit 100 runs before retiring and the rest of the likely top four for the first test against South Africa all hit half-centuries in a warm-up game against a South African Invitation XI on Friday.
England ended the first day of the two-day match on an impressive 317-5, with the top three batsmen all having retired out.
The best news for England was that Kevin Pietersen, back in the team after four months out with a heel injury, batted for two hours in scoring 71 against a local side made up of young players, a few of whom have been capped at under-19 level for South Africa.
After England had been put in to bat, Strauss and Alastair Cook added 101 for the first wicket to lunch, when Cook retired on 52, scored in two hours with eight fours.
Strauss reached three figures after 211 minutes, with 14 boundaries, and his retirement brought together Jonathan Trott and Pietersen.
The SA Invitation XI battled all day to make breakthroughs with the ball. Even captain Wendell Bossenger, normally a wicketkeeper but in the field with promising 19-year-old Mangaliso Mosehle behind the stumps, sent down a few overs of leg-spin as seven bowlers were used.
Medium-pacer Roy Adams did keep things quiet in his 13 overs, though, conceding only 14 runs and helping to slow Trott's innings early on. Adams, 20, played for South Africa in the Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia early in 2008.
Trott became the third England batsman to retire, on 50, scored in 190 minutes with seven fours, after he and Pietersen had added 105 runs for the third wicket.
Pietersen was the first batsmen to be dismissed by a bowler, falling to off-spinner Yaseen Vallie in the 82nd over of the innings. Pietersen would have been glad to have got a long innings under his belt ahead of the first Test against the Proteas in Pretoria starting on Wednesday. He faced 101 balls and hit 12 fours.
Ian Bell, batting at number five, was bowled by left-arm seamer Keegan Eccles for eight runs, three overs after Pietersen was out.
The not out batsmen were Matt Prior on 19 and Luke Wright on one.
Of the England bowlers, paceman Graham Onions sat out, while test fast bowling contenders James Anderson and Ryan Sidebottom were included.
All-rounder Wright needs to convince the selectors that he deserves to play in the test batting at number seven.
SA Invitation XI: Andrea Agathagelou, Divan van Wyk, Sammy-Joe Avontuur, Yaseen Vallie, Wendell Bossenger (captain), Charl Pietersen, David Wiese, Keegan Eccles, Mangaliso Mosehle, Roy Adams, Ayovuyo Myoli.
England: Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Matt Prior, Luke Wright, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Ryan Sidebottom.