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Kayes leaves Lions licking wounds

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Imrul Kayes

Opener Imrul Kayes steered Bangladesh A to a series victory over England Lions with a match to spare courtesy of an unbeaten 110

Imrul Kayes’ unbeaten century guided Bangladesh A to a one-day series victory over England Lions with a game to spare.

Needing to win to keep the five-match rubber alive, the tourists posted 208 all out in 49.4 overs in the first of two matches at Sylhet.

Opener Joe Root top-scored with 81 from 124 deliveries, including seven fours and a six, and Jos Buttler gave the innings late impetus with 41 at better than a run a ball.

However, Kayes used the experience of 48 one-day internationals to carry his bat en route to a 131-ball 110, featuring nine fours and three maximums.

He was supported sufficiently by the rest of the top order to set up a six-wicket victory with 4.4 overs to spare.

The Lions, put into bat on a damp surface, lost Alex Hales and James Taylor cheaply to seamer Farhad Reza, who took 3-29 from seven overs. But Root and Tom Maynard repaired the early damage with a 40-run stand until the latter was run out for 18

Yorkshire team-mates Root and Jonny Bairstow then combined for an alliance worth 84, taking the tourists beyond 150. However, they fell in consecutive overs: Bairstow caught and bowled by off-spinner Sohag Gazi for 35 and Root going to the left-arm turn of Mosharraf Hossain.

Scott Borthwick’s departure to leg-spinner Alok Kapali prompted a slide that saw the Lions lose their last five wickets for 24 runs in the final six overs. Stuart Meaker and Buttler were run out, either side of Danny Briggs being caught behind off Reza, and Jack Brooks perished to seamer Al-Amin Hossain.

Kayes dominated an opening partnership of 72 with Nasiruddin Faruque, who was caught behind by Bairstow for 21 off seamer Nathan Buck. Left-arm spinner Briggs then snared Jahurul Islam with the hosts 101 short of their target and just more than half their overs used.

Kayes and Naeem Islam kept their side on course by adding 67, a stand broken by Meaker removing the latter for 40. Although Buck accounted for home captain Kapali, giving Buttler his third catch, Reza hit off-spinner Root for the winning boundary.

Performance director David Parsons said: “Disappointingly, we haven’t learnt lessons fast enough, taken responsibility with the bat, nor executed shots with precision sufficiently to post defendable totals.

”We still have one more 50-over match in Bangladesh (on Wednesday) and a short T20 series and must continue to learn, in order to try to win all these matches.”