Vince takes lead role in Lions win

James Vince led England Lions to victory in their first 50-over warm-up game against United Arab Emirates even though he was taking a break from the captaincy.

Vince returned to the ranks to allow Sam Billings some leadership experience, and top-scored with a fluent 88 off 93 balls as the Lions passed a UAE total of 210 with five wickets and eight overs to spare.

The Hampshire skipper, who is due to resume the captaincy for Saturday’s second warm-up game against the UAE and the five-match series against Pakistan A that follows, stroked seven fours and launched a free hit over long-on for six in only the fifth over of the innings.

He was supported by Daniel Bell-Drummond, who made 28 in an opening stand of 80 in 17 overs, and then Tom Westley in adding a further 72 for the second wicket.

Westley went on to a 55-ball half-century to join Vince in bouncing back from a lean T20 series against Pakistan A last month, and Worcestershire’s Joe Clarke took the Lions to the brink of victory with 24 from as many balls including four fours and a six over extra-cover.

Craig Overton bowls Usman Mushtaq in England Lions five-wicket warm-up win over United Arab Emirates. Pic: Chris Whiteoak

Earlier, Liam Dawson and Jamie Overton each took two wickets in a solid bowling display, after Billings had won the toss and chosen to field with a little morning dampness still in the grass.

Toby Roland-Jones, making his first Lions appearance for two years, had taken the first wicket lbw, and ended with 1-21 from seven overs.

Jamie Overton claimed his first wicket in his second over, as Rohit Singh chipped to Clarke at backward point off the leading edge, and Dawson then picked up where he left off in the T20 series with a first spell of 8-1-21-2.

Ben Foakes, who was handed the wicketkeeping gloves with Billings and Clarke in the outfield, snaffled Mohammad Usman for an enterprising 34 to give Overton his second success.

Westley took a wicket with his off spin, Overton’s twin brother Craig deceived Usman Mushtaq with a slower ball, and Vince claimed a run out with an athletic stop and direct hit from midwicket as the UAE struggled to 210 for nine.

Tom Curran, who bowled well without luck with the new ball, returned to gain his first wicket in the last over of the innings.

The Lions are likely to make several changes for the second warm-up game on Saturday.

Dawid Malan and Liam Plunkett were not considered today because of illness and Ross Whiteley, Stephen Parry and Jake Ball are the other players still waiting for a first taste of action.

Source: ECB

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