England Lions wrap up first ever win over Australia A with nine-wicket victory at MCG
Craig Overton and Ollie Robinson spurred England Lions to their first ever win over Australia A as the tourists wrapped up a nine-wicket victory at the MCG.
Early rain threatened to derail the push to victory, with the hosts trailing England’s first innings total by 72 overnight, with five wickets remaining. Kurtis Patterson and Jack Wildermuth resumed innings when play got underway, moving their partnership to 67 before Wildermuth fell to Overton for 37.
Patterson batted through with the tail, adding 44 more to the total to ensure the Lions needed to bat again. The New South Wales batsman finished stranded on 94no when the final wicket fell with the Lions requiring 20 for victory.
Overton and Robinson both finished with four wickets in the innings, adding to the five they took between them in the first innings.
England’s chase wasn’t straightforward, though, losing first-innings centurion Dom Sibley to Jackson Bird in the third over for three, but Zak Crawley and Keaton Jennings wrapped up the victory five overs later.
It is the first time an England Lions/'A' team has beaten Australia A either home or away, with four losses, two draws and an abandonment in the seven previous encounters between the two sides to date.
The Lions will look to finish their tour Down Under unbeaten, with the final four-day match against New South Wales XI starting on 2 March. With Sibley, Crawley, Jennings and Dom Bess departing to join up with the England team in Sri Lanka, the match in Wollongong will enable a number of the squad players to gain experience in match conditions.
Lions Head Coach Richard Dawson said: “The way we competed across all four days, session by session, was really impressive. Once we got ahead of the game and posted that first innings total, we held the ascendancy. We kept it really basic, breaking things down to keep it simple and the effort within the squad was high class.
“The fast bowlers were made to work really hard, having asked the Aussies to follow on, but they’ve put in the work on their fitness to be able to achieve that.
“The preparation that we had done prior to the game, including the physically demanding game in Hobart, put us in a good position to perform how we did in this game.”