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  • England Lions 2m

    Can the Lions fight back and level the series?

    Keaton Jennings calls on batsmen to take responsibility for second game which is expected to draw a big crowd

    England Lions captain Keaton Jennings believes a number of positives came out of Tuesday's narrow loss against West Indies A and feels his players are in a good place heading into the second match of the series.

    The Lions are currently 1-0 down in the three match one-day series, but it is all to play for in the second match at the Coolidge Stadium.

    Sam Hain and Matt Parkinson were the star performers in the opening encounter and both were singled out by Jennings for praise in how they acted under pressure.

    "The first game was tough in a lot of respects but a lot of positives came out of it," he said. 

    "Matt and Sam were outstanding and to perform like that on their debuts was a testament to their skill and character and as a team we need to look at their example in how they dealt with the pressure situations.

    "Sam batted absolutely beautifully and batted in a manner that belied his experience at that level. Both of them found a calmness and freedom that a lot of us didn't display and executed their skills to an extremely high level.

    "Matt was excellent with both bat and ball, and showed the sort of ability we know he is capable of and epitomised exactly why he is here.

    "They both looked like they belonged at this level and they both stood out. Hopefully they can continue to do that in the next match."

    The players trained hard yesterday in the baking Antiguan sun, and Jennings feels lessons have been learnt and the players will be ready to clinch victory this afternoon.

    He added: "Each batsman needs to take responsibility for their individual performances and make sure that we are implementing the hard work behind the scenes into matches. 

    "There are some extremely high quality cricketers in our changing room and we all believe in each other. It has been a tough tour and we have spoken about the mental challenges that come when playing in foreign conditions.

    "Unfortunately, things aren't quite going our way at the moment but that is cricket and it is up to us to keep working hard to turn it around and we have done just that in the last couple of days."

    The Coolidge Stadium played host to a large crowd and carnival atmosphere on Tuesday night, and people are once again expected to come out in their droves on Friday.

    Jennings concluded: "It is a great place to play cricket and there is a real party atmosphere with the music and fans enjoying the entertainment. 

    "We just need to go out and relax and express ourselves. We are ready for the challenge and we are backing ourselves to win tomorrow and get right back in the series." 

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