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Duckett - 163 reasons to be proud

Ben Duckett hit a stunning unbeaten century on his England Lions debut in a seven–wicket win against Pakistan A in Cheltenham.

Duckett has earned his Lions place with some eyecatching innings for Northamptonshire this season, sealed the victory in the 37th over by sweeping his fourth six to end unbeaten on 163 from 104 balls, having also hit 24 fours.

He came in with the Lions on 5 for 1 in reply to Pakistan’s 244 after losing their captain Dawid Malan, but dominated partnerships of 68 with Daniel Bell-Drummond,  116 with Joe Clarke and an unbroken 59 with Sam Billings.

The platform was laid by a fine fightback from the Lions bowlers, who shared the last six Pakistan wickets for 53 after powerful opener Sharjeel Khan had put them on course for a much higher total as a Festival crowd of around 3,000 broiled in the sun.

Surrey’s Tom Curran led the way with four for 39, and there was also an encouraging performance from Mark Wood as he continues his comeback after ankle surgery, earning figures of 10-1-27-3.

Pakistan had won the opening fixture in the six-match Tri-Series against Sri Lanka A in Cheltenham on Monday, so the Lions have the chance to go top of the table at the halfway stage when they face the Sri Lankans in a day-night match in Northampton on Thursday – a home fixture for Duckett.


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