Australia A crank up the pressure

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Joe Burns struck a century as England Lions suffered a crushing 122-run defeat in their second one-day international against Australia A.

Number three Burns, who came to the wicket after Aaron Finch fell to the first ball of the match in Hobart, anchored the hosts’ innings with 114 as they made 315 for seven after losing the toss.

Joe Burns

Joe Burns celebrates his outstanding century that helped secure a comfortable victory for Australia A against England Lions at Hobart

Despite 79 from captain James Taylor, the Lions never came close to reaching that hefty target and were bowled out for 193 with 8.3 overs remaining as Australia A took a commanding 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Stuart Meaker made a dream start with the new ball for the tourists as home captain Finch was caught by Varun Chopra first up, but Burns put on 78 with Alex Doolan and 128 with Callum Ferguson, who made 74.

Burns became Rikki Clarke’s first victim in creditable figures of 4-55 but 89 runs off the last seven overs meant the tourists were still left facing a daunting chase.

They lost Alex Hales with 16 on the board and, though Chopra and Taylor put on 71 for the second wicket, the target was always beyond them.

Gary Ballance chipped in with 23 in a stand of 52 with Taylor but the next best score was 10 as a procession of wickets, shared between five bowlers, left the Lions well short.

The last seven fell for 50 and the final three without a run being added, leaving the Lions to ponder a fifth successive defeat on the tour, the first three of which came versus Victoria.

The result leaves Taylor's men needing to win the three remaining matches, at the same venue on Friday and then in Sydney on Monday and Friday of next week, if they are to turn the series around and earn a 3-2 success.

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