Monday, February 19th, 2018

Working On Facing Spin Pays Off For England Lions Hero Joe

Joe Clarke was delighted to clock up a half century for England Lions when batting in spin friendly conditions – an aspect of his game he believes has improved.

The Worcestershire batsman top-scored with 56 on the opening day of the second ‘Test’ with West Indies ‘A’ at Sabina Park, Jamaica.

But the home side are on top after bowling out the Lions for 145, with left arm spinner Jomel Warrican returning 8-34, and then replying with 159-4.

Clarke said: “It was tough because there were wickets falling around me. It was nice to make a contribution, and although 145 isn’t what we’d have liked, it’s something we can bowl at.

“A few chances went down at the end there and they could easily be five or six down and it would be even. On a personal note it was nice to spend some time in the middle.

“When you first go in it’s quite tough. As the day went on it got a bit easier to bat. It wasn’t gripping as much or spinning.

“But throughout the day, if the spinners were on the money early on, it was tough to bat. Presumably it will get even tougher as the game goes on.

“It’s West Indies day but a couple of early wickets tomorrow and we’re right back in it. Our main focus will be to restrict their lead, and then get something for them that might be tricky for them to chase.”

Clarke added: “We’ve had a few weeks out here now and the wickets in the nets and for the first game at Trelawny have been very spin friendly, so we’ve had the chance to get used to it.

“It’s a lot different to home but I’ve been working hard on spin for a few winters with the Lions now.

“I see it as part of my game that’s improving, and it was nice to show that here.”