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Hain, Duckett Guide England Lions to 303/5 Against India A on Opening Day

A whirlwind 80 by Ben Duckett followed by a 14th first-class half-century from Sam Hain helped England Lions take an early grip on proceedings in the first four-day encounter against India A before the bowlers struck back with crucial blows to even out the contest.

Cricketnext Staff |February 7, 2019, 6:10 PM IST
Hain, Duckett Guide England Lions to 303/5 Against India A on Opening Day

A whirlwind 80 by Ben Duckett followed by a 14th first-class half-century from Sam Hain helped England Lions take an early grip on proceedings in the first four-day encounter against India A before the bowlers struck back with crucial blows to even out the contest.

By the end of play on day one at Krishnagiri Stadium, in Kerala, Steven Mullaney and Will Jacks had put on a crucial unbeaten 65-run stand for the sixth wicket to take their side to 303/5 in 90 overs.

Electing to field first, the India A bowlers were thwarted by the pair of Max Holden and Duckett who put on an impressive 82-run stand for the opening wicket on a surface which was aiding pace and bounce. fast bowler Navdeep Saini drew first blood for the hosts inducing an edge off Holden's blade through to the wicket-keeper KS Bharat for 26.

Duckett, however, resolute as ever carried on to reach his half-century off 91 balls as England Lions made it to the lunch interval on 92/1.

The left-handed Duckett slammed 15 fours in his 118-ball knock before being castled by Shardul Thakur with the scoreboard reading 130/2. The Indian pacers then struck back with crucial wickets.

Ollie Pope had his stumps left in a mess by medium-pacer Avesh Khan for 8 before the tea interval while immediately after the break Saini got the big wicket of England Lions captain Sam Billings who was adjudged caught behind for 9 with the visitors slipping to 201/4.

Sam Hain, who came in at No.3 though held one up and brought up his half-century off 142 balls. However, his joy was short-lived as Jalaj Saxena soon had the 23-year-old caught behind for 61 giving Bharat his third catch of the innings. Hain's patient half-century included six fours.

The Indian bowlers would have harboured hopes of a few more strikes before the end of play but their plan was foiled by Mullaney and Jacks. The duo kept their calm throughout but did not waste any chances to score boundaries as England Lions crossed the 300-run mark in the final over of the day.

Mullaney was unbeaten 39 with three fours to his name while Jacks smashed five fours enroute a 72-ball 40*. For India A, Saini was the most successful bowler of the lot returning figures of 2/57 in 16 overs while Avesh, Thakur and Saxena picked a wicket each. The hosts were also found to be a bit ragged on the field conceding as many as 40 extras on just the first day, something which is not going to impress the captain Anil Bawne.

Brief Scores: England Lions 303/5 (Ben Duckett 80, Sam Hain 61, Will Jacks 40; Navdeep Saini 2/57) vs India A

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4659 119
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 England 4366 104
4 South Africa 3177 102
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 9349 260
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