England Lions 269 for 1 (Malan 125*, Ducket 69, Bell-Drummond 62*) beat South Africa A 268 (Kuhn 81*, Hendricks 79) by nine wickets
Dawid Malan finished unbeaten on 125 © Getty Images
Middlesex team-mates Steven Finn and Dawid Malan shared the individual honours as England Lions took the lead in their three-match series against South Africa A with a clinical team performance at Trent Bridge.
Finn took three wickets in an eight-ball burst and there were two wickets each for Tom Curran, Craig Overton and Liam Dawson as the tourists were dismissed for 268 despite significant contributions from opener Reeza Hendricks, who made 79, and wicketkeeper Heino Kuhn, with 81 not out.
Then Malan stroked an unbeaten 125, his third century in nine one-day innings for the Lions, to secure a nine-wicket win with more than nine overs to spare. He faced 110 balls and hit 15 fours and a six.
Ben Duckett, who had already taken a spectacular diving catch, gave the Lions reply a flying start with a 43-ball half century. The Northamptonshire left-hander fell lbw to the left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi for 69 in an opening stand of 134 inside 18 overs.
But Kent’s Daniel Bell-Drummond, who has been so consistent for the Lions in one-day cricket both in Sri Lanka in the winter and in last summer’s tri-series, joined Malan to maintain the momentum in an unbroken partnership of 135. Bell-Drummond ended with 62 from 76 balls with four fours, the third time in four one-day innings for the Lions he has passed 50.
James Vince won the toss and chose to field on a fine Nottingham morning, and it was his early introduction of Dawson’s left-arm spin which broke South Africa’s opening stand. JJ Smuts was bowled swinging across the line at his third ball, and in the next over Overton dismissed the dangerous Theunis de Bruyn courtesy of Ben Foakes’s tumbling low catch to leave the tourists on 42 for 2.
Hendricks and Temba Bavuma, who is due to join the senior South Africa squad for their Test tour of England later in the summer, responded with an intelligent third-wicket partnership of 95 for the third wicket.
It was Dawson again who made the breakthrough, winning an lbw decision against Hendricks to dismiss the experienced opener for 79 from 73 balls. Again the Lions made it a double strike in the next over, as Tom Curran found some extra bounce to surprise the diminutive Bavuma, and Liam Livingstone caught his top-edged cut running towards the point boundary.
That was a good catch but it was eclipsed by Duckett’s effort to dismiss South Africa’s captain Khaya Zondo 10 overs later, one-handed diving full length to his right to give Overton his second wicket. Then Finn took over, trapping Mangaliso Mosehle leg before and seaming the ball away to find the outside edge of first Sisanda Magala, then Shamsi.
The Curran brothers, who had shared the new ball, then did likewise with the last two wickets, although they were separated by a stand of 44 between Dane Paterson and Kuhn, a 33-year-old with seven T20 international appearances.
Tom Curran earned fine figures of 2 for 39 from his 10 overs, taking his tally of one-day wickets for the Lions to 24 in 12 matches, and Dawson ended with 2 for 41.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo