- Victoria v England Lions, Tour match, Melbourne
England Lions slump to third loss
England Lions continued their difficult start in Australia with a third-straight warm-up defeat as Victoria eased home by eight wickets at the MCG.
The Lions never recovered sufficiently from a poor start which left them on 18 for 3 and could only post 173. Scott Boland took 4 for 29 and Fawad Ahmed also impressed with 2 for 21 from nine overs. Victoria cruised to their target with more than 12 overs to spare, Rob Quiney leading the way with 76 to following the hundred he scored in the first of the warm-up matches.
After putting the Lions into bat, Victoria's seamers made early inroads with the first three wickets all falling to catches by the wicketkeeper. A recovery of sorts was started by James Taylor (31), who scored a hundred in the previous match, and Gary Ballance, who finished as top-scorer with 57, but the batsmen rarely dominated.
Ahmed removed Taylor and Ben Stokes, the Durham allrounder, was run out to leave the Lions 95 for 5 in the 31st over. Ballance added 46 with Rikki Clarke (32) but when Ballance was lbw to Clive Rose it meant there was no late flourish to the innings. The last four wickets fell for 11 runs in four overs.
Victoria made a brisk start to their chase with Quiney and Peter Handscomb adding 83 for the first wicket and another half-century stand followed for the second wicket. The Lions bowlers have failed to impress during the warm-up matches and again did not make much of an impression although Chris Wright and Craig Overton were economical.
The Lions now travel to Hobart where the five-match one-day series against Australia A begins on February 16.