Willey Shines In Lions Defeat


David Willey and Jonny Bairstow's brilliants efforts proved in vain as England Lions were beaten by 22 runs by New Zealand A in their second triangular-series match at Bristol.

The Yorkshireman wicketkeeper-batsman struck a magnificent 123, which included 12 fours and a brace of maximums in his 116-ball knock, but he was last man out as the Lions were dismissed for 260 in the 48th over in pursuit of 283.

The Black Caps were able to post a commanding total courtesy of 115 from number three Dean Brownlie, while Northamptonshire all-rounder David Willey returned figures of 5-62.

Craig Overton made an early breakthrough after New Zealand chose to bat, dismissing Tom Latham cheaply. However, that brought Brownlie to the crease and he shared stands of 60 and 73 with Anton Devcich and Grant Elliott, who contributed 42.

The Kiwis had a mid-innings wobble with four wickets falling for 19 runs but Brownlie held firm, striking 16 fours and two sixes in his 107-ball stay at the crease. He became one of two victims for Lancashire’s Tom Smith before Scott Kuggeleijn provided some late impetus with a near run-a-ball 34.

The Lions’ reply started badly as they slipped to 48 for four in 13th over, with James Vince, Alex Hales, James Taylor and Ravi Bopara back in the pavilion. That handed Yorkshireman Bairstow the opportunity to build a 95-run partnership with Roy, who compiled 42. Smith added 20 but when he became Doug Bracewell’s third victim with 81 required off the final 10 overs, the end was near for the Lions.

Craig Overton and Steven Finn, back in the side following his omission from the England senior team for the fourth Investec Test against India at Emirates Old Trafford, were both run out before Bairstow perished.

Willey's figures came in his first game back in international cricket after a long injury and he admitted they were a little flattering. "It was one of those days when others bowled better and I picked up the wickets," he said. "I think I made it too easy for the batsmen to score throughout my 10 overs.

The ball moved nice and conventionally and then reversed later, which made things a little bit easier for me. Fortunately, there were a couple of skied catches the guys managed to get hold of. I was a bit wayward at times and could have bowled a little better."

Of centurion Bairstow, he added: "It was an exceptional knock by Jonny to get us that close in the end and his was a world-class innings. It was a pity it was not quite enough to get us over the line and we ended up paying the price for a poor first 10 overs."

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