Lions look to solve spin problems
Andrew Gale pledged that England Lions' batsmen would review their approach to Pakistan A’s brigade of spinners as they attempt to come from behind to win the one-day series in Dubai.
In their first match since Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb spearheaded a surprise Twenty20 victory over England, the Lions were blown away for 96, with all but Lumb falling to spin. Gale's side fell short by 83 runs.
Raza Hasan, Abdur Rehman and Mohammad Hafeez were able to get through a collective 21.3 overs for just 49 runs, after the Lions’ own left-arm spinner David Wainwright had put the mockers on Pakistan with 3-26.
Gale told ECBtv: “It’s disappointing to lose. I thought we bowled well and were good in the field but our batting let us down and they ‘out-skilled’ us a bit.
“At the halfway mark I thought we had done well to keep them down to 180 and credit should go to our spinners.
“(Wainwright) has just come into the side so I’m very pleased for him.
"He hasn’t played a lot of cricket on this tour and it’s tough to come straight in after watching the lads for the last few games. It's a shame we couldn't win it for him.
“But we didn’t bat well enough. We’ll bounce back from this. Pakistan are a beatable team and we'll come back fighting on Wednesday.”
Another subplot is the fine form of Ian Bell, who hoped to use this tour to persuade the England selectors of his worth to the one-day side.
The number three batsman made his way unfussily to 46 not out yesterday, only to watch nine partners fall for 55 runs.
“Belly’s been in good form all tour. It has been disappointing that someone couldn’t stick around and support him,” said Gale.
“While he was at the crease I always felt we had a chance. All it needed was one other player to help him. We were only really one partnership away from winning that game.
“So it’s disappointing not to chase down a low score like that. We lost wickets in clumps, though I thought Stevie D (Davies) came in and batted well.
“You can have one bad performance throughout a tour. The batsmen will go away and find a method of combating the spinners.”
Their chance to atone comes tomorrow, in the second of three matches at Dubai's International Stadium.