Vince leads by example in Lions win

James Vince led from the front as England Lions bounced back from a double injury blow to claim a comfortable win in the first game of their one-day series against Pakistan A in Dubai.

The Lions were without two members of their pace attack after Jamie Overton was ruled out for the whole series with a foot injury, and Liam Plunkett was also unavailable for the opener because of a thigh strain.

But they responded with an excellent bowling and fielding display to dismiss the Pakistanis for 192 in 47 of their 50 overs, after Vince had won the toss and put them in.

Vince then top-scored with 70 from 83 balls and Sam Billings, who will also link up next month with England’s Twenty20 squad in South Africa, added a restrained unbeaten 35 to steer the Lions home with five wickets and almost nine overs to spare.

Captain James Vince strikes 70 to help England Lions move 1-0 ahead in the five-match series with Pakistan A

Surrey’s Tom Curran, who made such a positive impression as the Lions sealed a T20 series win against Pakistan A before Christmas, made the first breakthrough with the new ball and returned to claim the last two wickets for figures of 3-29 from eight overs.

One of the wickets was an athletic caught and bowled and Curran also took a diving one-handed effort at backward point to give Tom Westley the first of two scalps in eight probing overs of off-spin which included two maidens.

Nottinghamshire’s Jake Ball also took two wickets, the second courtesy of a fine catch at deep midwicket by Joe Clarke, the Worcestershire youngster who had also pouched Umar Siddiq at short extra cover off Craig Overton.

It was a day of mixed fortunes for the Overton twins. Before Christmas Craig had been ruled out of the T20 series with an elbow injury, while Jamie played in four of the five matches. Now it is Jamie who will head home early with soft tissue damage in his right foot, while Craig marked his first List A Lions appearance for two years by taking 2-33.

Vince, left, wins the toss and sticks Pakistan A into bat, a decision vindicated by a strong bowling performance

Vince and Dawid Malan gave the Lions a perfect start in reply with an opening stand of 103 in 21 overs.

Malan, another who impressed in the T20 series, stroked five boundaries before edging a cut at left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz to go for 41 from 62 balls.

The impressive Nawaz then bowled Westley for a golden duck and when Vince was given run out in the 28th over, the Lions had slipped to 125 for three.

But Billings and Liam Dawson steadied the ship with a fourth-wicket stand of 43, and although Dawson fell for 29 when he picked out deep square-leg with a hook, Billings sealed the win with only his second boundary.

The series continues on Friday.

Source: ECB

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