Stevens plays a key part as England Lions win series

Wednesday 7th July 2010

Kent’s Darren Stevens (pictured) ended his successful stint with the England Lions in style as he led them to victory in the Triangular Series Final against India A at New Road, Worcester. The all-rounder smashed 68, off just 53 balls, to fire the Lions to a five wicket win and keep himself in contention for an international future.


Batting first, the Indians went out all guns blazing in setting a target before opener Shikhar Dhawan fell for a 31-ball 39 in the tenth over as Durham seam bowler Liam Plunkett claimed his first of two wickets to leave them on 68 for one. The wicket slowed the tempo down and England took wickets at regular intervals throughout the innings to restrict India. Lancashire spinner Stephen Parry impressed the most taking 3-48 off ten, including the capture of Abhinav Makund for 62. Stevens played his part in the field as he caught dangerman Manoj Tiwary off the bowling of Parry for 24. In the end the Indians were reliant on their captain Cheteshwar Pujara to get them up to a competitive 278 for seven. His unbeaten 87 set the Lions a tough looking chase.


England struggled early on in reply and lost captain Alastair Cook for for four in the second over. However, wicket-keeper batsman Steve Davies soon got the chase back on track in blazing fashion. His knock of 55 contained nine boundaries before being caught and bowled by Shikhar Dhawan. Yorkshire’s Andrew Gale kept the tempo up, and once he was joined by Stevens at the crease with the Lions needing 131 to win off twenty overs, the pair set about quickly chasing down the total. Gale played the anchor role stroking 90 from 114 before being caught behind off the bowling of Jaskaran Singh with the partnership ending on 71. Stevens was still there though and he raced to fifty off 43 balls whilst dominating a 41-run stand with James Taylor. The 34 year-old finally fell for 68, a typically powerful knock which included nine boundaries and a maximum. Taylor and Peter Trego comfortably then saw off the 19 remaining runs for victory as the Lions took glory.

Picture:Getty Images