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  • West Indies 4m

    England Lions lose one-day series to West Indies A

    Tourists fall 25 runs short on a sluggish pitch in Antigua

    West Indies A clinched the one-day series after going into an unassailable 2-0 lead, following a 25-run victory over the Lions at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.
     
    A 97-run partnership between Keemo Paul (55) and Raymon Reifer (45 not out) was the pivotal period in the match, helping the hosts recover from 153/7 and reach a highly competitive target of 257 on a sluggish surface.
     
    Lions opening bowlers Richard Gleeson and Sam Curran took three wickets apiece, but Jermaine Blackwood and Jahmar Hamilton scored 53 and 35 also, to set a target beyond the visitors reach.
     
    No visiting batsman could make the required match winning contribution, with Alex Davies, Sam Northeast and Keaton Jennings all getting starts but not going on, as the Windies bowlers shared the wickets between them.
     
    Early Lions pressure told when Kieran Powell tried to drive Curran through the covers, but could only proceed in edging to Davies behind the stumps and the Windies A Captain departed for 10.
     
    In the following over, Devon Thomas, replacing the injured Chandrapaul Hemraj, drove Gleeson on the up to Paul Coughlin at cover, who took a good catch.
     
    Roston Chase joined Blackwood at the crease and quickly got off the mark with two sumptuous boundaries.
     
    Gleeson got his second wicket though, having Chase caught by Davies after attempting to drive. He departed for 9, and the Lions had reduced the hosts to 38/3.
     
    Matt Parkinson joined the attack and started well, inducing the edge of Andre McCarthy's bat. But McCarthy responded, launching the Lancastrian leg-spinner for six over long-on.
     
    He and Blackwood attempted to consolidate and rebuild the innings, but Parkinson got his revenge in the 17th over as McCarthy tried to repeat his earlier maximum, and could only find a sprawling Curran, who took an excellent catch at mid-on.
     
    That brought Rahkeem Cornwall to the crease who was his usual brutal self from ball one and moved on to eight. But, he attempted to sweep Dom Bess for another boundary and was trapped LBW.
     
    Blackwood brought up the 50 partnership with Jahmar Hamilton, and shortly after, helped himself to a 50 of his own, coming from 72 balls.
     
    Parkinson returned following an experimental two-over stint from Captain Jennings, and with his first delivery he broke that partnership, as Hamilton was stumped by Davies for 35.
     
     
    Reifer joined Blackwood and brought up the 150 for the hosts in the 35th over but the latter finally departed as he was caught by Jennings off the bowling of Curran for 53.
     
    Paul joined Reifer and greeted the return of Coughlin with a six back over his head and a four past square-leg.
     
    It was a sign of things to come as the two continued to chance their arm and Paul brought up the 50 partnership with back-to-back boundaries off Parkinson, including a six into the big screen.
     
    He then hit Bess out of the ground, and reached his 50 off just 36 balls, as West Indies A continued their lower order charge and edged closer to 250.
     
    That total did come up when Reifer chipped a single down the ground, but Paul departed next ball after he was bowled by Gleeson for an invaluable 55.
     
    The two had put on a partnership of 97, and taken West Indies A to a more than defendable total.
     
    Curran finished his excellent spell picking up his third wicket after clean bowling Odean Smith for 2, as the hosts set the Lions 257 runs to win.
     
    Nick Gubbins began the innings in a similar vein to Tuesday, with two crunching boundaries, but he tried to repeat the dose and was caught in the covers off Reifer.
     
    Sam Hain also picked up where he left off in the first match and raced onto 21 with some excellent boundaries. But, he tried one too many and edged Paul to Hamilton behind the stumps, to leave the Lions 47/2.
     
    Davies continued to struggle to get going, and it wasn't until a boundary off Smith that he released the shackles.
     
    He had suddenly become the aggressor and switch hit Cornwall for four and brought up the 50 partnership with Northeast, following a reverse sweep. The Lancashire opener attempted the same shot against Chase and was bowled though, departing for 38.
     
    Jennings joined Northeast and they aimed to build a partnership, until the latter tried to sweep Jomel Warrican and was bowled for 34.
     
    Curran was the next man in, and looked to force the issue hitting Chase for a straight six as the rate crept up to over seven an over.
     
    He was given a life when he tried to give the off-spinner the same treatment, and was dropped by McCarthy, and just one over later the 50 partnership came up between the two batsmen.
     
    Straight after drinks, Jennings chipped one back to Chase and departed for 33 to leave the Lions 173/5, still requiring another 84 runs and facing an uphill task.
     
    Curran followed soon after when he stepped across his stumps and was bowled by Smith for 26.
     
    Coughlin then tried to attack as the rate crept above 10 an over, but he charged Warrican and was stumped by Hamilton for nine.
     
    Bess joined Critchley and hit a quick-fire 19 from 12 balls in an attempt to keep up with the soaring rate, but eventually drilled Warrican straight to Powell at cover.
     
    Eight balls later it was all over, as Gleeson hit Paul to Cornwall and Critchley followed for 20, hitting the same bowler to Powell at mid-off as the Lions slumped to a 25-run loss and disappointing series defeat.

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