Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Clarke Returns To Lions Action In 50 Over Clash

Joe Clarke made his first appearance of the winter for the England Lions against a Western Australia X1 in a 50 over match in Perth.

The Worcestershire batsman had not been selected for the opening match – a four-day fixture against a Queensland X1 in Brisbane.

But he returned to the side and scored 13 off 24 balls as the Lions went down in the first match of the white ball section of their training camp at the Murdoch University ground.

Clarke and the Lions are back at the same venue for their first T20 game of the winter tomorrow.

Their tour gains a higher profile next week with three games which will form part of Perth Scorchers’ preparation for the Big Bash – two of them at the new 55,000-capacity Perth Stadium.

Clarke was the Worcestershire Rapids leading scorer in the T20 Blast last summer.

Paul Coughlin, with 64 off 49 balls, and Mark Wood, 51 off 52 balls, were the mainstays of a Lions total of 282.

But that was always going to be tough to defend on a good batting pitch and the home team knocked off the runs with six wickets and 11 balls to spare.

The run chase was led by two players who impressed against England in the first game of the Ashes tour last month – Clint Hinchliffe, a 21-year-old who made 131 off 119 balls, and wicket-keeper Calum How, who ended with 80 not out.

Wood took two of the four wickets to fall and there was one each for Saqib Mahmood and George Garton.