Daniel Bell-Drummond top-scores as South sweep North

Wednesday 22nd March 2017

Daniel Bell-Drummond top-scores as South sweep North

Daniel Bell-Drummond scored a second half-century in three matches as the South swept the North in the third and final 50-over match in front of the England selectors in Abu Dhabi.

The Kent Cricket Academy graduate showed trademark patience as he hit ten boundaries while his top-order colleagues got starts before departing on a tricky pitch.

He reached his 13th one-day hundred in 52 matches off 58 balls before Toby Roland-Jones blasted 43 not out to push the South to 228 for eight.

In reply, Mason Crane produced a stunning spell of leg-spin to secure a 3-0 whitewash for the South in a rain-affected climax to the new North-South Series in Abu Dhabi.

The North seemed on course for victory in a game restricted to 40 overs per side by rare desert rain, with Ben Duckett providing a flying start to their pursuit of a modest South total of 228 for eight, and Sam Hain and Liam Livingstone sharing a mature third-wicket stand of 67 to steer the North to 146 for two.

But Crane, the 20-year-old Hampshire leg-spinner who recently became the first overseas player to represent New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield since Imran Khan, then offered further evidence of his exciting potential by taking four wickets for one run in the space of 10 balls under the floodlights at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Hain was bowled for 44 from 97 balls, Joe Clarke was also bowled for a golden duck, and Crane went close to a hat-trick as Jack Leaning’s edge fell short of second slip.

Leaning was out in the next over, also bowled and bemused, and finally Crane claimed the key wicket of Livingstone, the Lancashire all-rounder who excelled on the recent England Lions tour of Sri Lanka, and had just reached his first half century of the series.

He was lured down the pitch and smartly stumped by Ben Foakes, and despite another battling innings from Tim Bresnan, Toby Roland-Jones and Tom Curran polished of the North tail.

Other performances of note in the tightest contest of the series included 81 from Daniel Bell-Drummond, continuing the good List A form which has brought him a Lions century in Sri Lanka and 92 not out in the first North-South contest in Dubai.

Roland-Jones underlined his all-round value by thumping an unbeaten 43 from 24 balls to give the South important lower-order runs, while Mark Wood continued his encouraging comeback after ankle surgery by taking two for 38, and the North spinners Josh Poysden and Graeme White both impressed – Poysden taking three for 55, and White claiming James Vince and Bell-Drummond as classic slow-left-arm victims.

The game was delayed by almost four hours by steady morning rain, and North captain Keaton Jennings chose to bowl when he won his third toss of the series.

Kent captain Sam Northeast was rested for the South with a sore hamstring when making a century in the second game in Dubai on Sunday before he is due to lead in MCC in a four-day day-night match next Sunday.

Wickets fell steadily on a tricky pitch, but Bell-Drummond again displayed patience and skill to hold things together before Roland-Jones provided those much-needed late runs.

Duckett responded by whacking 37 from 17 balls with seven fours and a six, but Roland-Jones prevented him from inflicting any further damage, and Liam Dawson produced another tidy spell of left-arm spin before Crane’s match-winning burst.


Click here for 2017 tickets