Monday, January 25th, 2016

Clarke And Whiteley Hope To Help Lions Recover From Setback And Seal Series

Clarke And Whiteley Hope To Help Lions Recover From Setback And Seal Series

Joe Clarke and Ross Whiteley will have another chance on Thursday to help England Lions in their quest to clinch the 50 over series against Pakistan 'A' in Dubai.

The Worcestershire duo were part of the side beaten by 17 runs in the third match of the series to reduce the Lions lead to 2-1 with two matches to play.

Clarke and Whiteley made only bit-part contributions as the Lions failed to reach a 289 target despite a century from skipper and opener James Vince.

Vince was run out for 102 from 118 balls attempting a risky second run to long leg as the Lions collapsed from 223-3 to 271 all out with seven balls remaining of their innings.

Clarke was dismissed for two, one of three victims for left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz as he chopped on to his stumps.

After launching one six over wide long-on, Whiteley was bowled by Nawaz going for another after making 14 from 13 balls.

Vince’s Hampshire team-mate Liam Dawson did his best to hold things together but he was last out for 41.

The Lions skipper said: “We were in a pretty good position there when myself and Sam Billings were going nicely" – a reference to a third-wicket stand of 90 inside 15 overs to which the Kent wicketkeeper contributed 51 from 48 balls.

“But in 50-over cricket one or two wickets change the game big time. I thought we’d set it up pretty well – maybe we could have gone slightly harder in the middle, but when you lose a tight game it’s the little stuff you pick out.

"There was a lot of good stuff there but unfortunately we didn’t quite get over the line in the end."

Pakistan A’s reshaped batting line-up had proved much more effective, with Khurram Manzoor, an experienced right-hander with 23 international caps, riding his luck early against Tom Curran and Toby Roland-Jones to make a fine century.

“We missed a couple of chances,” Vince reflected. “Up front I thought we bowled pretty well and didn’t get the rewards. But that can happen.

"We could have been a bit sharper in the field, and missed a couple of run outs. In the tight games they can make a difference. We’ll have to pick ourselves up and come back Thursday.”

The Lions were missing Dawid Malan, a century-maker when they went 2-0 up in the series last Friday, with illness and also Liam Plunkett with his thigh strain.