Gale wants more from Lions
Andrew Gale spoke to ECBtv after his side's seven-wicket win
Captain Andrew Gale declared himself pleased with the result after England Lions recorded a second win in three days - but admitted there is room for improvement.
If England’s pursuit of 157 to beat Pakistan A in Sharjah was largely trouble-free, built around a superb unbeaten 72 from Craig Kieswetter, their performance with the ball was far from faultless.
Chris Woakes, Steve Kirby and Sajid Mahmood came in for early punishment and Naeem Anjum and Tanveer Ahmed took 42 off the final 14 balls of the innings following a mid-innings fightback by Lions spinners Adil Rashid and James Tredwell.
“We didn't bowl that well up front but Chris Woakes pulled it back nicely and then the spinners tied them down,” said Gale after seeing his side wrap up a seven-wicket victory with 14 balls to spare in the opening match of the Twenty20 series.
“They bowled with great control and variation; I was pleased with them both. It was a good effort in the field - I thought they were 20 or 30 short.”
Gale reserved special praise for Kieswetter, who followed up his rapid 31 in Wednesday’s victory over the United Arab Emirates A side with a blistering 55-ball innings containing eight fours and four sixes.
He added 34 with opener Steven Davies off just 19 deliveries, before accompanying Ian Bell in a 115-run stand for the third wicket which carried England to the brink of victory.
Gale added: “Craig Kieswetter and Steve Davies set the tone which was important. Both Bell and Kieswetter timed their innings really well.
“Craig was exceptional in deciding when to take their bowlers down. He played good cricket shots and showed how mature he is.
“It’s always good to get off to a good start and I’m pleased with the way it went. The boys played well.
“We can improve. We haven’t nailed it up front with the ball or at the death so we will sit down and review that and look where to improve.”
England face the same opposition in Sharjah on Sunday in the second of three matches before they meet the senior England side next Wednesday in Abu Dhabi.