Hain and Curran pass 50 as England Lions bat out draw against Australian XI
Sam Hain and Sam Curran both finished with unbeaten 50s as England Lions batted out a draw with the Australian XI on day four at Canterbury.
Australia took their overnight lead to 382 before declaring early on the final day. The total proved insurmountable, but openers Zak Crawley (43) and Dom Sibley (30) both continued to impress with a stand of 80 for the first wicket.
They both fell to Michael Neser, as did Ben Foakes for seven, before Sam Northeast and James Bracey steadied the ship. Northeast passed 10,000 career first class runs in his innings of 34, while Bracey reached 30 for the second time in the match but again couldn’t push on.
The Gloucestershire man was caught behind off Jackson Bird and was followed back to the pavilion by Northeast, bowled by Mitch Marsh six overs later.
Hain and Curran played out 32 overs before the teams shook hands on the draw, with England 116 short of the target and Australia still needing five wickets.
Curran reached 50 first, thanks to some eye-catching drives and pulls, while Hain hit Bird for consecutive fours to reach his milestone.
Three players in the Lions squad received call-ups to the senior England side for the Ireland Test next week – Lewis Gregory, Sam Curran and Jack Leach.
Lewis Gregory: “I don’t think anyone leaves here with the bragging rights. It was a really good, hard-fought game of cricket and I think both teams could argue they came out on top.
“They needed five wickets and we needed 120 runs, so it would have been a really good five-day game. It was a good contest and it finished in an exciting way leading into the Ashes.
“It was [an England selection] that I didn’t really expect was coming, so there was some surprise in there, but I’m really excited and can’t wait to get cracking.
“I’ve had a really strong 12 to 18 months, but there’s a lot of talent in English cricket at the moment. It has been a good summer so far and I’ve always wanted this to happen, so when Ed pulled me over this morning I didn’t know what to say.”