Nottinghamshire’s Paul Coughlin celebrated being presented with his first England Lions cap by scoring an unbeaten half century in the first unofficial Test against the West Indies A at Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium in Jamaica.
The all-rounder ended day one on 51 not out and shared an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 51 with Toby Roland-Jones, who was 18 not out, as England closed on 233-6 off 97 overs, having been put in on a slow pitch.
Skipper Keaton Jennings had earlier made 49 and number three Nick Gubbins a patient 50 as Rahkeem Cornwall took 3-64.
Lions head coach Andy Flower praised the patience and skill shown by debutant Coughlin – presented with his cap by Adam Hollioake – and Gubbins on an attritional day.
“To see both play like that on a sub-continental wicket was very encouraging,” said Flower. “Nick Gubbins worked particularly hard on his batting against spin last winter in Dubai and Sri Lanka.
“Coughlin is a budding all-rounder with genuine potential, and this has been a very important innings in terms of the balance of this match, where we can now get a useful first innings total. His running between the wickets and his positivity was a good example for us all.”
Coughlin suffered an injury scare when he first wore a Lions shirt in Australia before Christmas, as he was forced off during the non-first class three-day fixture against a Queensland XI with a hip problem after a worrying fall in the field.
But it turned out to be much less serious than first feared and he played a part in the T20 matches against Perth Scorchers in the second half of the Lions’ pre-Christmas training camp.
However this was his official debut, marked by an encouragement from Hollioake to seize the key all-rounder’s role at number seven.
“Getting my cap from Adam Hollioake was a great way to start the day, and it’s finished just as well,” said the 25-year-old. “Being capped by the Lions is something I've been working towards this winter and is another step forward in my career.
“I did feel nervous when I went in, because we weren’t in the best position. But having someone as experienced as Ben Foakes (16) at the other end was a big help, and then Tobes (Roland-Jones) took over later in the day.
“Hopefully we can add a few more in our first innings and then do our bit with the ball. The aim is to acquit ourselves well in the series and I want to do my bit for the team by chipping in with runs and wickets.”
Windies A — Kieran Powell (captain), John Campbell, Jermaine Blackwood, Shamarh Brooks, Vishal Singh, Shane Dowrich, Rahkeem Cornwall, Raymon Reifer, Jeremiah Louis, Jomel Warrican, Keon Joseph
England Lions — Keaton Jennings, Haseeb Hameed, Nick Gubbins, Liam Livingstone, Joe Clarke, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Paul Coughlin, James Porter, Toby Roland-Jones, Mason Crane.
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