Monday, December 5th, 2016

Clarke Top Scores For Lions Who Complete Whitewash

Joe Clarke led an England Lions fightback with the bat  before they completed a 16 run win over the United Arab Emirates in the third ODI in Dubai to seal a clean sweep.

The Worcestershire batsman top-scored with 42 of 72 balls with four boundaries to help the Lions recover from 45-3 before he was fifth out at 115.

The 20-year-old, who also kept wicket for the first time in the series, added 65 for the fourth wicket with Lancashire's Liam Livingstone before both departed within the space of five runs.

But for the second match running useful contributions from the middle to lower order boosted the final total to 223-8 off 50 overs.

Then the UAE were dismissed for 207 in 48.1 overs with Adnan Mufti (69) the last wicket to fall, run out by Livingstone's throw from long on to Clarke.

Clarke came to the wicket at 40-2 in the 13th over after the loss of openers Daniel Bell-Drummond (15) and Nick Gubbins (12) after the Lions had been put into bat.

Tom Alsop (11) also fell five runs later but then Clarke and Livingstone steadied the ship for the Lions.

Clarke collected his first boundary from his 16th delivery with an off drive against Mohammad Shahzad.

He then picked up two fours through the point region off successive overs from Mohammed Qasim.

But Qasim had his revenge when he tossed up a delivery and bowled Clarke who had come down the wicket looking to hit him straight.

He had been within eight runs of a second half century for the Lions after scoring his maiden ODI 50 against Pakistan A last winter when Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes was part of the coaching team.

Clarke left the wicket five runs after Livingstone had fallen for 29.

Foakes (20), Sam Curran (40), James Fuller (18) and Craig Overton, with an unbeaten 21 off 11 balls, ensured the Lions topped the 200 mark.

Clarke, who replaced Foakes behind the stumps, then took a fine low catch off Sam Curran to dismiss UAE opener Chirag Suri for two with only seven on the board.

Middlesex spinner Ollie Rayner (3-27) and Somerset paceman Overton (3-29) played key roles with the ball for the Lions.

Gubbins led the side now that Keaton Jennings has linked up with the senior England squad for the fourth Test with India in Mumbai.