#SAvEng: Ben Stokes spearheads England Lions to victory

The England Lions, spearheaded by Ben Stokes (four for 22 and 31), drew first blood in the five-match ODI series when they beat South Africa A by four wickets at Chevrolet Park on Sunday.

The Proteas “second best” were restricted to a mere 172 all out in 39.3 overs after being sent into bat.

Although the home side fought back very well, the visitors managed to achieve their target with 15.3 overs to spare.

Earlier none of the recognized SA A batsmen made a start. They struggled on a batting strip that had enough in it for the seam bowlers in spite of the heat. All-rounder David Wiese scored a gutsy 39 before throwing his wicket away.

Stokes tasted success with his first delivery, claiming the scalp of the in-form Dean Elgar (21, 43b), clearly outwitted with a slower delivery. Stokes had figures of two for 3 after three overs after he removed the danger man, Theunis de Bruyn. He later ended Wiese’s flurry and then bowled Marchant te Lange.

Matters could have been even worse for the home team as a couple of slip chances went down.

Apart from Stokes, left-arm opening bowler, Harry Gurney, another player not involved in the two four-day matches, got among the wickets with three for 26. Mark Wood (0 for 19) was again impressive but unlucky, while Boyd Rankin bagged two for 46.

In the Lions innings De Lange (two for 31) continued the South African fight back after Chris Morris (two for 23) removed opener, Alex Lees. Fellow opener, Jason Roy, stood firm for a while to score 43 - the highest total in the match.

On 88 for four SA A had a sniff, but Stokes and Sam Billings (19) had other plans, adding 44 for the 5th wicket. With both of them falling four balls apart, it was game on again at 134 for six.

The players are now off to Kimberley where the second match will played on Wednesday.

James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>