Alex Lees strikes 94-ball century as England Lions take the Bazball approach against Sri Lanka XI


SL President’s XI 93 for two path England Lions 413 for 8 dec (Lees 103, Haynes 64*, Bohannon 58, Abell 57, Smith 50) by 320 runs

Alex Lees lived as much as the fast-paced requirements that he had instilled in him throughout his summer season in England’s Take a look at ranks, by hanging a 94-ball century on the opening day of England Lions’ tour of Sri Lanka.

Lees, who debuted within the Caribbean in March final 12 months, performed all seven of England’s Assessments in a outstanding summer season beneath the brand new management of Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes, however was dropped for the latest tour of Pakistan after making 327 runs at 25.15, together with two half-centuries.

His omission from the ECB’s listing of centrally contracted gamers was an extra signal that he had slipped down the pecking order, with Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett most well-liked in Pakistan, however his efficiency in opposition to a Sri Lanka President’s XI was clear proof that the Take a look at workforce’s new mindset is firmly entrenched in his psyche.

He struck 12 fours and two sixes in his innings of 103, the second-fastest century in England Lions’ historical past, behind Luke Wright – the brand new nationwide selector – who reached the mark in 91 balls in New Zealand in 2009.

Speaking ahead of the tour, Lees acknowledged that an England recall won’t be on the fast horizon, given the significance of backing the Take a look at incumbents within the present regime. However regardless of his intermittent success, notably in two key run-chases in opposition to New Zealand and India, he admitted {that a} high rating of 67 in ten Assessments had been his downfall.

“I believe I loved being in that atmosphere, particularly in the summertime taking part in in a profitable facet,” he mentioned. “It was good. I believe my reflections on taking part in these video games, I kind of performed fairly competently however simply lacked that huge rating which is clearly the distinction. As a top-order batter, you are averaging mid-twenties to mid-forties for the summer season which, in essence, is what your Take a look at summer season is constructed round.”

However, Lees’ affect rubbed off all through a Lions batting card with a really “Bazball” look to it, as England declared on 413 for 8 after 67 overs, a efficiency that got here at higher than a run a ball, and included 4 additional half-centuries for Tom Abell (57), Josh Bohannon (58), Jack Haynes (64 not out) and Jamie Smith, whose 35-ball at No.8 was the quickest by an England participant at Lions degree.

Haseeb Hameed was one other man who featured on the high of the Take a look at batting order in 2022, together with his most up-to-date look coming within the Ashes at Sydney in January, however he fared moderately much less nicely in his first outing as Lions captain. He fell to his first ball of the match, caught off Kavindu Pathiratne within the first over of the match.

In reply, the President’s XI reached 93 for two in 19.5 overs earlier than the shut, with spinners Liam Patterson-White and Jack Carson each selecting up a wicket.

The Lions are taking part in all 16 of their gamers on this match in Colombo, which isn’t being categorized as first-class. The President’s XI used ten bowlers in the middle of England’s innings.

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