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Lions fight back in Jamaica

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Danny Briggs

Teenage Hampshire spinner Danny Briggs once again finished as the pick of the England Lions bowlers with superb figures of 5-121

England Lions were unable to prevent Jamaica from registering a potentially crucial first-innings lead on day three of their WICB regional four-day championship match at Sabina Park, but a courageous fightback kept the tourists’ hopes of victory alive.

Jamaica resumed this morning on 259 for four, in response to the Lions’ 358, and added a further 50 runs to their total before Danny Briggs struck twice in the space of four balls to remove Brendan Nash and Wavell Hinds for 65 and 40 respectively.

Briggs finished with fine figures of 5-121 from 45 overs as the hosts stumbled to 376 all out - a lead of 18.

The Lions progressed swiftly to 149 for three by the close, with Andrew Gale striking 57, although time is against them as they look to register a win that would ensure they remain on top of the table.

Should the game finish in a draw, Jamaica would take six points to the Lions’ three - as a result of their superior first-innings score - which would see the two sides finish level on 51 points.

However, both could yet be overhauled by the Combined Campuses and Colleges, who would move to 57 points with victory over Barbados at Bridgetown. CC&C ended day two of that low-scoring match on 36 for one, requiring another 137 runs to triumph.

The Lions were once again indebted to 19-year-old slow left-armer Briggs today as he continued his fine form with the ball.

Nash’s 175-ball innings came to an end as he was caught by Ben Stokes, while Hinds edged to wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter to leave Jamaica 310 for six.

Andre Dwyer, who made two, dug in for 61 deliveries before being bowled by James Harris, and Briggs picked up his fifth wicket of the innings when Chadwick Walton provided him with a return catch.

The ninth-wicket pair of Bevon Brown and Jason Dawes guided Jamaica into the lead, but both were soon dismissed by Nathan Buck, who finished with 3-77.

Dawes removed Adam Lyth, for one, in the third over of the Lions’ reply before Jimmy Adams and Gale shared 91 in 23 overs to boost the tourists.

Adams made 38 before falling lbw to Brown and Gale was cleaned up by the same bowler after striking five fours and a six, but skipper James Hildreth and James Taylor made it through to stumps unscathed.

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