Lions Fifties From
Hales And Patel
Featured News | 2nd August 2011
England Lions won the toss and elected to bat on an overcast morning in Scarborough. James Taylor, 21, captaining the side for the first time top-scored with 76 and was one of four home batsmen to register a half-century. Opener Alex Hales and Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow each contributed exactly 50, while Nottinghamshire all-rounder Samit Patel added a fluent 52 from 55 deliveries.
Sri Lanka A had the better start to the first day, reducing the Lions to 100-4 at lunch but a vital fifth wicket partnership of 107 between Taylor and Bairstow steadied the home side and although a sixth wicket stand between Taylor and Patel carried the Lions to 275 for five, they subsequently subsided to 299 all out as off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake ripped through the tail.
Senanayake finished with figures of 5-47 from 17 overs and Sri Lanka had reduced their arrears to 272 by stumps as they reached 27 without loss in reply.
James Taylor, England Lions captain, said: "It's nice for me personally to get some runs but more importantly the partnerships with Jonny Bairstow and Samit Patel helped us recover from 100-4 and post a challenging first innings score.
“There is plenty of confidence in the side and we're looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow and hopefully taking a few early wickets and putting the Sri Lankans under a bit of pressure. Of course there's plenty for us all to play for individually during the match as there is every time we play for the Lions but we all want to beat Sri Lanka A convincingly this week."
With Northamptonshire seamer Jack Brooks missing out on a place in the side, there were four debutants in the Lions line-up today in the shape of Hales, Joe Root, Scott Borthwick and Stuart Meaker.