Parsons pleased with Lions progress
ECB performance director David Parsons hailed England Lions' batsmen after they laid the platform for a 117-run triumph over Sri Lanka that clinched a 3-2 one-day international series victory.
Joe Root, who struck 110 not out, and Jos Buttler, with a brutal 31-ball 64, were chiefly responsible for lifting the tourists to 330 for six in the fifth and final ODI in Colombo.
Sri Lanka never looked likely to overhaul such a stiff target and were subsequently dismissed for 213, with spinners Danny Briggs and Samit Patel sharing six wickets.
Today’s win represented a superb response from the Lions after consecutive defeats had seen them relinquish a 2-0 series lead.
A delighted Parsons said: “Today was the nearest thing possible to a complete batting performance in these conditions and befits a series win.
“The batters demonstrated the learning that has been invested since this squad embarked on the performance camp in India in November and December, followed by a tough tour in Bangladesh and now in Sri Lanka in 2012.
“These are also the skills that are required to help take England forward in playing in these conditions and things that we are determined to keep working on.”
Captain Taylor, who contributed 41 from number four, added: “We were particularly pleased with the approach that we took to their spinners on a used pitch, and showed that with hard work we can play on the sub-continent.
“Playing intelligently, but with appropriate aggression, it is possible to overcome a good bowling attack on these wickets.”
Batting coach Graham Thorpe was also satisfied with the Lions’ efforts and believes the squad have gained much from their experiences on the sub-continent this winter.
“These are the things that these players have been working on, and why we’re here,” said the former England batsman.
“Controlled aggression and skilful execution of shots, with fast and confident footwork, are the only way to play in these conditions. There’s been some great learning on these trips, because these things can rarely be tested in a county season.”
The Lions will play one further 50-over match, against the senior England team in Abu Dhabi on Friday, before returning home.