England Lions ended their Australian training camp with a T20 defeat against the Perth Scorchers, despite another good knock from Nick Gubbins, and other significant contributions from captain Keaton Jennings and Somerset youngster Dominic Bess.
The game was played at the Western Australia Cricket Association’s Murdoch University ground, after the teams had won one match each at the new Perth Stadium earlier in the week.
The Lions posted 163 for seven from their 20 overs, losing momentum with a flurry of wickets after Gubbins had given them a promising start with 34 from 14 balls – picking up from where he left off in making 68 in the second match on Wednesday.
Jennings, batting down the order at number six as he has throughout the T20 series, held things together with an unbeaten 45 from 29 balls, with four fours and two sixes.
David Willey claimed two wickets for the Scorchers, dismissing Lancashire wicketkeeper Alex Davies for 13 after he had been promoted to open with Gubbins, and then Mark Wood at the other end of the innings.
Will Bosisto, a 24-year-old who spent last summer with Rochdale, gave the Scorchers a flying start in their reply.
And by the time he was dismissed, caught by Liam Livingstone off Bess for 66 off 45 balls, the Lions were staring at defeat.
But Bess’s figures of one for 25 from his four overs made it an excellent end to the tour for him.
The Lions return home tomorrow, with the squad for their West Indies tour in February and March to be named next week.
“In the end we didn’t have enough runs. It went around a bit early and we lost a few wickets, which meant we were always catching up with the game.
“Bessy bowled at the toughest end, into the wind and with the short boundary, so as you can see from his figures he was absolutely outstanding,” said Jennings.
“But in the end we didn’t have enough runs. It went around a bit early and we lost a few wickets, which meant we were always catching up with the game.
“It was nice for me to make a bit of a contribution. I’m familiar with the middle order in T20 after playing there with Durham – it’s probably not where I’d choose to bat, but it’s one of those, everybody has to do a job.
“It’s been a really interesting trip for all of us, being out here during the Ashes – obviously very different to being inside the bubble, but still getting a taste of it.
“We’ve been chatting as a group since the game about how we’ll all take different things away from the trip – someone like Paul Coughlin from a batting point of view, for example. And it’s been a tour where we’ve found out what different guys are like – Bessy, as he showed today.
“Now we all wait on selection for the West Indies, where there are three four-day games and then a 50-over series.
“For me it would be awesome to get out there and have the chance to spend more time working with Andy Flower and Graham Thorpe.
“It’s about runs on the board for me, that’s the currency in which we deal.”