Daniel Bell-Drummond was delighted and relieved to have emerged from a frustrating time in the Caribbean with Kent with his second England Lions century.
The 23-year-old Kent Cricket Academy graduate failed to score a half-century on the Spitfires’ FGS Plant Tour, but has returned to the runs since being called into the Lions team in Sri Lanka, following 51 in the third game with 100 in today’s five-wicket victory at the Colombo Cricket Club.
“Cricket has its ups and downs,” he reflected afterwards. “I struggled quite a bit in the West Indies with Kent before this tour. I didn’t feel I was hitting it that badly, but I couldn’t get many runs.
"So to come out here and do it for the Lions – obviously I want to do it for Kent – but to score some runs has been brilliant.
"I got 50-odd in the first game and I should have carried on but sometimes you take a 50 where you’re at. To push on today and almost see the team home is awesome.”
The century came under pressure, as the Lions were in trouble at 12 for two when Bell-Drummond was joined by Hampshire left-hander Tom Alsop, after losing openers Keaton Jennings and Ben Duckett in the same over.
Bell-Drummond and Alsop responded with a partnership of 200 which was a new record for the third wicket in List A cricket for the Lions, or the England A and B teams who preceded them.
“It was an awesome partnership to be part of,” added Bell-Drummond who now holds two records after his big-hitting second-wicket combination with Duckett at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence last summer.
“Tom played really nicely and got the innings moving. There were periods where they were bowling nicely and we were feeling it a bit, and then Tom kickstarted the partnership by piercing the inner ring and taking it to them. I was able to play my own game, tick it over until I fully got in, and then I was able to catch up the scoring.”
The series concludes in Colombo on Saturday before Bell-Drummond and Alsop head for Dubai to play for the South in the new North-South Series.