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Patel launches Lions recovery

England Lions
Samit Patel

Samit Patel came in at 24 for two but showed much grit in his innings of 64 in Lincoln

Samit Patel helped dig England Lions out of a hole and guide them to 331 for nine at stumps on day one of the second unofficial Test against New Zealand A in Lincoln.

Patel, de-selected last week from the limited-overs leg of England’s tour of the Caribbean because of ongoing concerns about his fitness levels, proved there is nothing wrong with his batting.

The Nottinghamshire all-rounder’s patient 64 from 101 balls helped Robert Key’s Lions recover at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, after most of the top order had failed to get going on the way to 154 for six at one stage.

After a high-scoring draw in the first Test in Queenstown, the Lions were put in on a sunny morning but found the going tough on a slow pitch against two Test seamers, Chris Martin and James Franklin.

Key himself went early, caught behind off Franklin, and Ewen Thompson (3-85) removed Stephen Moore and Jonathan Trott soon after, as the Lions slipped to 51 for three.

But Patel dominated a stand of 52 with Joe Denly, who made just 12, before falling to Brent Arnel.

Powerful hitting from Luke Wright, who struck 13 fours in his 69 - he shared a seventh-wicket stand of 65 with Gareth Batty, who made 64 - consolidated England's position.

There was also a handy, unbeaten 40 at close to a run-a-ball from tailender Sajid Mahmood to ensure the Lions mustered a competitive first-innings total in this four-day match.

Assuming Key does not declare overnight, Mahmood will resume on five not out alongside Mark Davies.

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