Billings scores unbeaten ton for England Lions

Wednesday 23rd January 2019

Men’s First XI

Tour Match

Billings scores unbeaten ton for England Lions

Kent and England Lions captain Sam Billings scored an excellent unbeaten century but couldn’t stop England Lions falling to India A by three wickets in a close first ODI of the series in Trivandrum.

The right-hander finished on 108* from 104 balls out of the Lions’ 285/7. The captain brought up three figures with a huge six over long-on off paceman Shardul Thakur in the final over of the innings.

Billings put on 63 with Lions debutant Will Jacks for the fifth wicket, with Jacks falling to a stunning one-handed catch on the midwicket boundary.

At the top of the innings, Alex Davies scored a well-paced 54, following on from his century in the first of the two warm-up games, setting the Lions up for a competitive total against a strong India A bowling lineup.

In reply, captain Ajinkya Rahane, veteran of 56 Tests and 90 ODIs for India, scored 59 at the top of the order, while Ishan Kishan hit 57* to help finish the game for the home side. Danny Briggs took two wickets in an over, including Rahane, in eight tight overs of left-arm spin, with seamer Zak Chappell taking three wickets on Lions debut and Lewis Gregory picking up two.

Speaking about his display, Billings said: “Unfortunately [the hundred] doesn’t mean much today because we lost the game. It’s a bit of a weird feeling – I did well for myself but ultimately we didn’t win the game, which was obviously disappointing.

“India A were exceptional in the field and made it hard for new batsmen to come in and rotate strike, and we weren’t on the ball with that. For a lot of the game it felt like we should have won, but it’s a little bit gutting because we feel like we gifted that game.”

The second ODI takes place on Friday.