England Lions take ‘Bazball’ approach as Alex Lees crashes century in Sri Lanka
Alex Lees cracked a 94-ball century as England Lions began their Sri Lankan tour with a performance straight out of the ‘Bazball’ playbook.
The Test team may recoil at the term, but the impact of their ultra attacking brand of cricket is already being felt as the second string scored at a fierce rate on day one of their warm-up match in Colombo.
The tourists declared on 413 for eight after just 67 overs at the crease, better than a run-a-ball over the course of the innings against a Sri Lanka President’s XI.
Lees, dropped by England after a lean summer, led the way with a knock of 103 as he struck 12 boundaries and two sixes.
The left-hander has vowed to prove he still has a place in the regime led by Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, despite a top score of just 67 from 10 Test caps, but actions such as these speak louder than any words.
His ton was the second fastest ever by an England batter at this level, with Luke Wright holding the record for a 91-ball effort in New Zealand in 2009.
Lions captain Haseeb Hameed was dismissed for a golden duck in the first over but the runs kept flowing as Tom Abell (57), Josh Bohannon (58), Jack Haynes (64no) and Jamie Smith (50) all made half-centuries as the hosts shuffled 10 bowlers in a game that will see both teams use full squads.
Surrey wicketkeeper-batter Smith needed just 35 balls to reach his fifty from number eight, making it the quickest by an Englishman at ‘A’ level.
The President’s XI reached 93 for two in 19.5 overs in reply, spinners Liam Patterson-White and Jack Carson both picking up a wicket.
Dawid Malan and Jos Buttler hit hundreds as England fight back in South Africa
Buttler’s men are bidding to avoid a series clean sweep and a sixth successive loss in the ODI format.
Tom Curran taking break from red-ball cricket for ‘my body and my mental health’
The 27-year-old has endured injury problems in recent years.
Olly Stone hopes to play a role in an England pace trio during this year’s Ashes
Stone hopes to play a role this summer along with Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.
Olly Stone ready for whatever role is required to make England World Cup squad
‘Any way in the England team, I’ll snap someone’s hand off,’ said Stone.
Dane van Niekerk ‘absolutely broken’ to miss World Cup over fitness standards
The South Africa captain was unable to complete a two-kilometre run in the minimum required time.
Run of defeats has not damaged England’s confidence, insists Moeen Ali
The all-rounder is confident England will be in good shape for the defence of their World Cup crown.
Lancashire sign New Zealand pair Daryl Mitchell and Colin de Grandhomme
The all-rounders will be available to play in the LV= Insurance County Championship and Vitality T20 Blast throughout the season.
Jos Buttler admits he needs to find his rhythm as England lose to South Africa
The hosts won the second ODI by five wickets to clinch the series in Bloemfontein.
Temba Bavuma hits hundred as South Africa secure ODI series win over England
The Proteas chased down 343 at Bloemfontein to go 2-0 up in the three-match series.
Jos Buttler and Harry Brook give England hope of levelling ODI series
England reached 342 for seven against South Africa, with Buttler making 94 and Brook 80.