Chopra and Taylor tons not enough
Centuries from Varun Chopra and James Taylor could not prevent England Lions from losing to Victoria in an exciting, high-scoring game at Melbourne's Junction Oval.
In the second meeting of three between the sides ahead of the tourists’ five-match series with Australia A, Chopra made 115 and captain Taylor retired out on 102 in a daunting total of 335 for four.
However, Ryan Carters’ 127 set up a four-wicket win with just two balls remaining ahead of Wednesday’s fixture at the MCG.
Home skipper Ian Holland won the toss and Ryan Sidebottom, a namesake of the former England international, soon had James Vince caught behind.
Chopra and Taylor responded with a 181-run stand, which was broken by Louis Cameron. Ben Foakes struck a brisk 53, during which Taylor retired to allow Ben Stokes to fire 41 from 15 deliveries. In the innings’ last over Foakes became Sidebottom’s second victim.
Marcus Stoinis and Dean Russ quickly put on 91 for the first wicket, but Russ was run out for 34 and Scott Borthwick snared Stoinis for 57.
Carters and Alex Keath combined for an alliance of 131 until Matt Coles removed Keath for 60, leaving 86 needed from 10.5 overs.
Although Rikki Clarke accounted for David King and Coles for Clive Rose, Carter guided Victoria to the brink of victory only to fall to Coles in the last over with just three required.