Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Change Of Fortunes For Clarke Before Lions Recover

Change Of Fortunes For Clarke Before Lions Recover

Joe Clarke experienced a change in fortunes for England Lions on the opening day of the four-day clash with Afghanistan in the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

The Worcestershire batsman had top-scored with 42 and taken a fine catch keeping wicket in the Lions final One-Day International against United Arab Emirates in Dubai.

But today the 20-year-old had the misfortune to register a second ball duck after the Lions had elected to bat.

Clarke was bowled by Afghanistan's 18-year-old leg spinner Rashid Khan who then had figures of 3-8 from 4.4 overs.

His dismissal made it two wickets in three balls for Khan after Nick Gubbins (26) had departed in the same fashion earlier in the over.

Khan had also accounted for Tom Alsop, lbw for 40, to break an opening partnership of 67 between the Hampshire player and Gubbins.

Liam Livingstone (6) then fell cheaply which meant four wickets had gone down for 37 runs.

But Tom Westley and Ben Foakes led a strong Lions fightback and they closed on 279-9 from 96 overs.

Westley hit 84 from 172 balls with eight fours and Foakes 70 from 137 balls with nine fours.

The duo added 125 for the fifth wicket in 38 overs before they were parted at 222-5.

Foakes had resumed the wicket-keeping duties from Clarke for this first class match after also wearing the gloves for the opening two ODIs versus UAE.