Jake Ball starred in a losing cause on his England Lions debut, ending with figures of 2-27 as Pakistan A secured a seven-wicket victory at the ICC Academy in Dubai.
Ball’s two wickets came within three balls – the first caused Shahzaib Hasan to mistime high to James Vince at mid-on, before Sohaib Maqsood then slapped the bowler to Dawid Malan at point two balls later.
Despite the early damage done, Pakistan A were able to rebuild from 25-3, still trailing England’s 145-6 considerably.
Iftikhar Ahmed and Babar Azam provided the necessary steel to the innings, the pair both passing 50 in an unbroken partnership worth 124 to seal victory.
Ball, whose last-ball four sealed victory for the Lions in their weekend warm up game, was victim of a similar fate this time, Babar Azam claiming the boundary that saw Pakistan take a 1-0 series lead.
England’s batting effort was a fairly robust one, Dawid Malan making a 44-ball 51, aided by Sam Billings’ quickfire 31, then Ross Whiteley needed just 15 balls to reach 22.
The Lions are next in action on Thursday, where they will look to level to five-match series at the next possible opportunity.
The 2015 season has seen dramatic last-gasp four day victories, thrilling limited-overs contests and an historic Investec Ashes Test, all in the unique surroundings of Trent Bridge.
Next season, we’d wager, will be no less enthralling and frankly we’d hate for you to miss out.