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Bell-Drummond and Billings hit half-centuries in record Lions total

Thursday 21st July 2016

Men’s First Team

Kent’s Daniel Bell-Drummond and Sam Billings hit half-centuries in a comfortable England Lions win against Sri Lanka A in Northampton.

Skipper Dawid Malan hit an unbeaten 185 from 126 balls with 16 fours and eight sixes – a new record for the Lions or England A in List A cricket, beating 168 by Ravi Bopara against West Indies A in Worcester in 2010.

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With Bell-Drummond, Ben Duckett and Billings adding half centuries, the Lions piled up 393 for five in their 50 overs after Malan had won the toss and chosen to bat – another Lions List A record, beating 378 for six against South Africa A in Mamelodi in January 2014, when Ben Stokes did most of the damage.

Opener Bell-Drummond hit eight fours in a fluent 50 as Malan played second fiddle in a first-wicket stand of 83 and century stands with Kent-born Duckett and Billings before accelerating in the fifth-wicket partnership with Joe Clarke.

The Sri Lankans made a bold start to their reply, as Niroshan Dickwella, a left-hander who has played four Tests and was a member of their squad for the ICC World T20 earlier this year, raced to a 36-ball half century.

But Mark Wood, picking up from where he left off in taking three for 27 in Cheltenham as he continues his comeback after ankle surgery, broke the opening stand of 82 in his second over when Dickwella chopped on to his stumps.

Toby Roland-Jones then took two wickets in consecutive overs, and Sussex youngster George Garton took an athletic catch running in from third man to give Wood his second of four wickets that fell for 10 in the space of 24 balls.

Angelo Perera and captain Ashan Priyanjan steadied the Sri Lanka innings with a stand of 72, but the Lions remained well in control when drizzle set in – with 164 for four after 30 overs, the Lankans were 88 runs short on the Duckworth-Lewis Method.

The Lions players now return to their counties to play in Friday’s round of NatWest T20 Blast fixtures, before reassembling in Canterbury on Saturday ahead of the last two matches of the Tri-Series at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence – against Pakistan on Sunday and Sri Lanka on Monday.


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