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Lions batsmen come up short

Ian Bell

Ian Bell remained unflappable in compiling an unbeaten 46, but was helpless as nine Lions wickets fell for just 55 runs

England Lions must win the remaining two matches if they are to salvage their one-day series with Pakistan A after an 83-run thumping in Dubai.

Having reached 40 for one as they chased 180, the Lions lost their remaining nine wickets for just 56 runs, each batsman perishing to spin.

At the other end was the steadfast Ian Bell, who coming in at number three, could only watch the procession of nine batsmen to and from the spacious changing rooms. He was left stranded on 46 not out amid the mayhem.

The Lions' reply began in poor fashion when Michael Lumb, hero of last Wednesday's Twenty20 victory over England, fell lbw to the slingy Mohammad Talha for just five.

Andrew Gale and Bell, captain and best player respectively, rebuilt steadily but the introduction of two left-arm spinners decimated the top-order as the Lions slipped to 41 for four, losing three wickets for just one run.

Gale perished for 17, bowled trying to cut a ball from Raza Hasan, a 17-year-old who has played just two first-class matches and took part in the recent Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand.

Michael Carberry did not last long, caught at slip by a juggling Mohammad Hafeez off Abdur Rehman, followed next ball by James Taylor, who was bowled. It was the first delivery the Leicestershire batsman had faced on tour.

Steven Davies looked in good order in making 21 but his tame dismissal, chipping Rehman to mid-off, and the wicket of Adil Rashid, caught bat-pad soon after, left the Lions hanging on perilously at 73 for six.

It got worse. Much worse.

Chris Woakes lost his leg stump as he attempted to sweep Rehman, David Wainwright was skittled in the next over by one that kept a little low from Hafeez.

It became three dismissals in eight balls when Sajid Mahmood charged down the wicket, missed and heard the ball clip the top of the stumps.

Steven Finn was the last to go, adjudged leg before as he tried to sweep Raza.

Earlier in the day Wainwright took 3-26, his best one-day figures, as the Lions dismissed Pakistan A for 179.

Woakes set the tone with a maiden in the second over and Pakistan never escaped from the vice-like grip exerted by England's disciplined attack.

Hafeez, the captain and stylish opener, showed glimpses of why he has a Test century and 11 caps to his name with sweetly timed back-foot punches off both Woakes and Finn on the rare occasions the pair strayed in line.

Mohammad Hafeez

Captain Mohammad Hafeez was a key factor in Pakistan A's win - he struck an assured 51 and took two tail-end wickets

But that was as good as it got for Pakistan who regularly lost wickets after reaching 37 without loss.

The highly-regarded Woakes struck first when Shahzaib Hasan, a shadow of the dangerous player from the Twenty20 series, got a thin tickle to Davies who completed a simple catch.

Carberry then ran out Asad Shafiq moments later and England were soon celebrating at 57 for three when Umair Khan shovelled Mahmood to the diving Bell, who was stationed at backward square-leg.

Gale introduced spinners Wainwright and Rashid to work in tandem and the pair rattled through the overs as Pakistan A adopted a cautious approach.

Hafeez looked intent on batting all the way through the innings but having just reached a patient half-century he became the first of three wickets for Wainwright.

Aiming to drive over Bell at short extra-cover, Hafeez looked stunned when the Warwickshire man leapt to pluck the ball out of the Dubai sky.

The Lions further reduced their opponents to 109 for five as Wainwright lured Hammad Azam to clip straight to Rashid at midwicket.

Wainwright's third strike arrived in the 38th over, Davies taking a second catch to help the left-arm spinner conclude an impressive spell costing just 26 runs.

The returning Finn, who earlier left the field feeling dizzy, returned to make a mess of Naeem Anjum's stumps and leave the scoreboard reading a miserable 139 for seven.

The Pakistan A tail offered little resistance as Wahab Riaz spooned Mahmood straight to Bell who was patrolling the long-off boundary. It was his third catch of a profitable afternoon.

Woakes then squeezed one past Rehman's flashing blade to disturb the stumps and the innings ended in the same over, the 48th, when the bowler and Gale combined to run out a confused Talha.