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Lions given Twenty20 send-off

Thursday 19th March 2009

New Plymouth:
New Zealand A 227-6 (20 overs; Stewart 88, Hopkins 41)
England Lions 143 (16.4 overs; Patel 64)
Lions lost by 83 runs

By Charles Randall

ENGLAND LIONS
were given an almighty Twenty20 pounding as a send-off
from their New Zealand tour in New Plymouth today, and only Samit
Patel, the rejected England all-rounder, excelled.

There was some excuse in that the Lions had sent key players to the
senior tour of the Caribbean and had lost Luke Wright, a 20-overs
England international, and Mark Davies to injury. The players taking
the field at Pukekura Park were no match for a strong and mature New
Zealand A side, who deserved their 83-run success after Shanan
Stewart’s 88 off only 39 balls.

The Lions reckoned 227 was attainable in view of the short square
boundaries of a notoriously batsman friendly ground, but openers Joe
Denly and Rob Key were both run out cheaply and Jonathan Trott
suffered a rare failure.

Patel blasted his 64 off only 36 balls, but he needed something
special with the bat after conceding 53 runs off his four overs, with
one over disappearing for 25 as Stewart cut loose, racking up seven
sixes.

Eoin Morgan (14) and Graham Napier (10) had the fire power to make a
match of it, but they both holed out, Ben Scott following for one. All
too quickly a crowd of about 2,000 were saluting a home victory, Ewen
Thompson claiming three wickets.

Picture courtesy of Getty Images