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30th January 2008

Onions Strikes for Lions

Michael Carberry (91) narrowly missed out on a century as England Lions batting first progressed to 311-8 before declaring. Other notable contributors for England were Jonathon Trott (67), James Foster (43) and Adil Rashid (54 not out). Batting at 9 Duhrma’s Liam Plunkett got stumped off his 4th ball from former test player Nilesh Kulkarni as England looked to accelerate their scoring rate. England Lions declared on 311-8 leaving Graham Onions stranded on 0 not out.

Durham team mates Graham Onions and Liam Plunkett went wicketless in their opening spells as Mumbai moved to a respectable 69 without loss. But Middlesex veteran Alan Richardson, who closed with an impressive two for five from his eight overs, removed Anup Revendkar (48) and Prashant Naik (five) to get the ball rolling. Graham Onions then returned to chip in with 2 wickets as he finished with figures of 12-2-39-2. Onions opening bowling partner Liam Plunkett finished with figures of 9-1-39-0 as England Lions bowled the MCA XI out for only 165.

With a lead of 146 England began their next innings looking to push this total up to a competitive score for them to bowl at on the third and final day. Michael Carberry and Joe Denly both began smoothly as the openers progressed to 48 without loss. Denly then fell bowled to MCA opening bowler M Hussain shortly followed by Carberry. With the score on 59-2 England Lions had established a lead of 205 with 8 second inning wickets remaining. This position was to be turned right on its head as Dhaval Kulkarni and Usman Malvi ran riot with the ball. England Lion batsmen Yardy, Ed Joyce, James Hildreth, James Foster and Adil Rashid all fell for less than two as England reached the precarious position of 86-7.

With a lead of 232 runs and only 3 wickets remaining on the last day of this tour match the Lions will go looking for  a result. Key to the England Lions success will be Jonathon Trott who remains unbeaten on 18 alongside Durham’s Liam Plunkett (5 not out). These two will go looking for quick runs on the morning of day 3 to provide the bowlers an opportunity to try and skittle the Presidents XI for a second time and claim an opening tour victory.

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