Monday, March 6th, 2017

Clarke Out For 13 As Lions Suffer Third Odi Loss On The Trot

Clarke Out For 13 As Lions Suffer Third Odi Loss On The Trot

Joe Clarke made a quickfire 13 as England Lions slipped to a third consecutive ODI defeat against Sri Lanka 'A' in Kurunegela.

The Worcestershire batsman again came in at number six and made his runs off just 13 deliveries.

Twenty-year-old Clarke picked up one boundary before he was caught behind off leg spinner Jeffrey Vandersay.

But it was Shehan Jayasuriya who did the damage for the home side, starring with bat and ball.

Jayasuriya, a 25-year-old who has made 17 international appearances in 50-over and T20 cricket, took five for 35 with his flat off-spin as the Lions were all out for 184 after winning the toss and choosing to bat.

Then he hit 83 from 83 balls, and despite two wickets each for the off-spinners Ollie Rayner and Liam Livingstone, the Sri Lankans won by four wickets with 13 overs to spare.

The Lions had made a promising start, reaching 50 in the ninth over.

But after Ben Duckett was bowled by Asitha Fernando for 31 from 27 balls, they were always struggling for momentum.

Keaton Jennings was Jayasuriya’s first victim, miscueing to long-off for 22, and although Tom Alsop joined Daniel Bell-Drummond to add 46 for the third wicket, the Lions then lost two wickets in consecutive balls.

Alsop was caught behind cutting at Jayasuriya, and this time there was to be no rescue act from Liam Livingstone as he fell for golden duck, snapped up at leg slip.

Clarke was then dismissed, leaving Bell-Drummond holding things together on his second appearance of the tour.

The Kent batsman reached a 67-ball half century which included only two boundaries, but in the next over he drove at Vandersay and edged a catch to slip.

Jayasuriya switched ends to have the left-handed Sam Curran out in a similar manner, and Ben Foakes was unlucky when a sweep lobbed up off his pad to backward short leg.

Ollie Rayner and Craig Overton then fell cheaply to leave Tom Helm unbeaten on 13, having shown again that he is anything but a mug with the bat.

Helm then claimed an early wicket when the Sri Lankans replied, as Sandon Weerakkody drove to backward point where Alsop took a sharp catch.

The Lions bowled much more tidily than in Saturday’s heavy defeat in Dambulla, and Overton earned a second wicket when Kusal Perera top-edged a hook to Bell-Drummond at long leg.

Rayner had Sadeera Samarawickrama caught on the mid-wicket boundary, then Livingstone claimed the key wicket of Jayasuriya, well taken low down by Overton at deep cover.

Alsop then took two more good catches in consecutive overs to give a second wicket each to Livingstone and Rayner, leaving the Lions to regret their failure to post a competitive total.

The series, and the Lions tour, now concludes with two matches in Colombo on Thursday and Saturday.