Gale And Stevens Lead Lions To Impressive Win
England Lions 279-5 (Gale 90, Stevens 68, Davies 55) beat
India A 278-7 (Pujara 87no, Mukund 62) by five wickets
A-team tri-series, New Road, Worcester
Andrew Gale and Darren Stevens hit aggressive half-centuries to help the England Lions pull off an impressive five-wicket win over India A in the tri-series final at New Road in Worcester.
Having qualified for the final with a match to spare after dominating the group stages which also included West Indies A, the Lions continued their fine form by chasing down a target of 279 with eight balls to spare.
Former Worcestershire wicket-keeper Steven Davies got the run chase off to a good start with 55 in 61 balls as he and Gale (90) made light of the early dismissal of Alastair Cook for four.
They put on 76 for the second wicket before Shikhar Dhawan caught and bowled Davies while Gale and Ravi Bopara (30) then added 68 for the third wicket.
That came when Bopara was bowled by Jaydev Unadkat but the Lions pressed on with Darren Stevens hammering 68 in 53 balls with nine fours and a six.
The dismissal of both him and Gale put the Indian side back in the match before James Taylor, unbeaten on 19 and Peter Trego, on six finished off the job.
Earlier, captain Cheteshwar Pujara top scored with 87 not out as India A closed on 278 for seven.
Abhinav Mukund led the charge with 62 and he was well supported by opening partner Dhawan (39) before Pujara held the innings together as Lancashire slow left-armer Stephen Parry grabbed three for 48 on his first appearance for the Lions.
Liam Plunkett returned two for 51 while Pujara faced 89 balls and hit four fours and two sixes but his fine innings wasn't quite enough to set up a winning score for the tourists.
The West Indies A were also in action, but were beaten by 53 runs as they took on Lancashire. Luke Procter made 97 and Karl Brown 56 as Lancashire made 271 despite Kevin Stoute's eight for 52. In reply, the West Indies A were bowled out for 218 with Gary Keedy, making a comeback from a shoulder injury, taking three wickets.
© Cricket World 2010