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  • Australia A v England Lions, Hobart

Burns shines in mauling of England Lions

Daniel Brettig
February 18, 2013 « Rodgers wants big push from Liverpool | Chartbeat test »
Australia A 315 for 7 (Burns 114, Ferguson 74, Clarke 4-54) beat England Lions 193 (Taylor 79) by 122 runs
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Joe Burns anchored Australia A with a measured innings © Getty Images
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A pair of notable reinforcements made little difference to the England Lions as they were pummelled once more by Australia A in Hobart, this time by 122 runs.

Alex Hales and Stuart Meaker were called into the team having played for England during the northern winter, but neither was able to make much impression on the hosts, who glided to a strong total after being sent in thanks to Joe Burns' century and a neat 74 by Callum Ferguson.

James Taylor provided the only semblance of resistance for the Lions in their chase, which petered out in the face of a consistent display that had John Hastings, Alister McDermott, Cameron Boyce and the captain Aaron Finch all claiming two wickets apiece.

The visitors were notably sloppy with the ball, conceding no fewer than 28 wides, as opposed to the six delivered by the hosts.

Setting off in pursuit of their distant target, the visitors had a touch of good fortune when Hales was turfed by Hastings in the slips, but Richardson soon had the wicket in any event, coaxing another edge that was held by Tim Paine behind.

Varun Chopra and James Taylor prospered for a time, but Chopra was deceived by a faster ball from Finch and bowled, before Ben Foakes failed to take advantage of being grassed first ball by Paine when he was run out, Taylor failing to respond to the striker's call.

From there the innings slipped away meekly, Boyce gaining some useful turn for his two wickets while Hastings was accurate and McDermott sealed the win with consecutive yorkers.

The Lions' XI had been bolstered by the inclusions of Hales and Meaker, both England representatives during the southern summer, and the latter struck with the third ball of the match, squaring up Finch and drawing an edge to Chopra in the slips.

It was a rare delivery of the requisite new-ball precision however, as Burns and Alex Doolan made merry on a warm Hobart morning. They feasted on a steady diet of balls directed at leg stump or wide outside off, and they seemed in little danger of being separated until Doolan called Burns through for a single to short fine leg and was run out by Craig Overton's direct hit.

Ferguson, recovered from a groin strain that kept him out of game one, joined Burns for a busy partnership that reaped 128 runs, again with a minimum of risk though Foakes appeared to grass a pair of half-chances standing up to the stumps.

Burns reached his maiden century in limited overs matches, a strong display after walking to the wicket early in the day, and his departure signalled the start of late innings festivities that would reap 104 runs from the final 10 overs. Ben Cutting struck the most telling blow, swinging a Meaker slower ball over square leg and clean out of the ground. It was to be a neat summary of the result.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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