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Plunkett targets swift victory

England Lions

Liam Plunkett

Liam Plunkett charges in to bowl against Bangladesh. He claimed three wickets and took England Lions close to victory

Liam Plunkett hopes an England Lions victory over Bangladesh tomorrow will strike a hefty psychological blow for England ahead of next week’s opening npower Test at Lord’s.

Plunkett took 3-34 in 11 overs, including two in five balls, to restrict the tourists to 139 for nine at the end of day two at Derby, a lead of just 63, as England closed in on victory.

Plunkett’s efforts with the ball today ensured that, barring heavy rain tomorrow, the Lions should beat Bangladesh in three days in the tourists’ last game before the Test series starts.

“It's always good to get one over on them before the first Test next week,” Plunkett said.

“It's good for us to show what we do but also be aggressive to them, we are here to win the game, not as preparation for them. Their morale is going to be on the low side which is good for us.”

Plunkett has not played a Test for three years but remains optimistic that he can make the squad for this winter's tour to Australia if he performs well for Durham and the Lions this summer.

The 25-year-old spent last winter with England in South Africa but did not figure in the Test series.

“To go out there and be part of the squad was good but by the end you want to be in there playing,” he said. “It was great to be back in the squad but frustrating I didn't get a game.

“It would be nice to get on the Ashes trip but there's no point thinking about that because there are games to play here.

“I think I'm a wiser and more mature bowler now and hopefully that's going to help me. I don't really know where I am in the list so I will keep playing for Durham and keep playing well.”

After a productive day for himself, Plunkett spared a thought for fellow fast bowler Graham Onions.

It was announced earlier today that his Durham team-mate Onions has been ruled out for three months with knee and back problems, and Plunkett sympathised with the England man.

“I just sent him a text, it's a shame,” Plunkett said. “He's a good friend and this is really upsetting for him to be out for three months.

“He's going to be down because he was going so well for England but hopefully he will be fit soon, get some bowling under his belt and will be fighting fit for the Ashes trip.”

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