Australia A v England Lions, 4th unofficial ODI, Sydney February 25, 2013

Finch ton takes Australia A to 4-0 lead

ESPNcricinfo staff

Australia A 8 for 285 (Finch 109, Voges 81, Roland-Jones 3-58) beat England Lions 9 for 240 (Balance 73, McDermott 3-35, Sandhu 3-36) by 45 runs

England Lions continued their streak of poor performances with a 45-run loss to Australia A in the fourth unofficial ODI in Sydney on Monday. The Lions are still winless on the tour, having lost both their tour matches and all the unofficial ODIs played so far.

Australia A's victory was set up by an aggressive ton from captain Aaron Finch. Having chosen to bat first, Finch put aside the quick dismissals of Joe Burns and Callum Ferguson to dominate a lax Lions attack, which conceded 27 extras in the match.

Finch combined with Adam Voges to add 177 runs for the third wicket in 31.4 overs. Voges scored a steady 81, hitting nine fours during his 105-ball knock, before he was run out in the 40th over. England Lions then made a brief comeback picking up three wickets for 35, including the wicket of Finch, to leave Australia A at 6 for 240. A blistering seventh-wicket stand of 44 runs off 26 balls between wicketkeeper Tim Paine and Cameron Boyce boosted Australia A to 8 for 285.

England Lions' reply centred solely on Gary Ballance's innings. Alex Hales and captain James Taylor were dismissed early. Ballance consolidated the innings with a 56-run partnership with Varun Chopra but the latter squandered a good start falling to fast bowler Alister McDermott.

Ballance then stitched together some useful partnerships with Ben Foakes and James Vince to keep Lions in the game. After the 40th over, Lions still needed a stiff 86. The game changed in the next over as Ballance left the field after being struck on the head by a bouncer from McDermott. He did not return to bat and, although Rikki Clarke and Roland-Jones tried pushing up the score with some quick runs, England Lions were eventually dismissed for 240.

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  • steve on February 28, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    Oh dear RandyOz - can't face up to the music at the test level so has to come down to the undercard to waffle away.

    The whole purpose of the Lions team, and their equivalents, is to allow selectors to see potential squad players in action and see how much of an investment is needed to bring them on (if possible) NOT to have to win every game - it's the big stage that counts - you know, the one your team was just beaten on.

  • David on February 26, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, and as you well know England lost 6-1 in the last series in Australia. And at least that was an actual tour (not a 2 week jaunt) and rain didn't prevent the team from training, nor were half the games shortened due to incessant rain. Anyway, not so easy touring another country in your off-season and when the locals are fully match-fit, is it? Food for thought.

  • Tim on February 26, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    Good practice for England. They'll be better prepared for a flogging when they next tour with the national team. Finch is a star, just needs to convert this form to the international game.

  • Andrew on February 26, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (February 26, 2013, 2:05 GMT) - never saw the delivery - been away, what you say, makes more sense as Ali Mac not that sort of bowler. Shame about Ballance, the innings was looking like being his first big knock of the series (not inc Vic games).

  • Roo on February 26, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    That the Eng Lions haven't been able to bat out the 50 overs in the last 3 matches is a disappointment but maybe indicative of the young fast Oz bowlers coming through - Sandhu, McDermott have performed well with strong support from Hastings...

    The good news for Oz is that we have replaced 6 players during this series & the team is still just as strong... But picking who may replace any Oz ODI players must now really cloud the issue - thats not including a number of injured players that are out atm... Would have liked to seen Hauritz given a run in a couple of games...

  • John on February 26, 2013, 2:07 GMT

    @Jono Makim on (February 25, 2013, 13:53 GMT), oh ho ho, you so clever. It's a shame that you had to include Kieswetter when he's not in the side any more. Maybe not so clever after all.

  • John on February 26, 2013, 2:05 GMT

    @Meety on (February 26, 2013, 1:44 GMT), it wasn't actually McDermott's doing. Ballance got a top edge and the ball went under the grille and hit him in the jaw. I'm quite sure he'd have rather got a knock flush on the helmet from a bouncer. If the jaw is broken then he may well be out for a while.

  • Andrew on February 26, 2013, 1:44 GMT

    Slight offset for what is going on in India. == == == Ballance leaving the field from a bouncer - I would of thought anyone of NC-N, Cutting, Hazlewood or maybe even Sandhu would of been the culprit. You would of got long odds on the son of Billy the Kid pinging the helmet. I am well aware that sometimes a bouncer just hits a helmet in a way that has more effect than other more obviously harder blows do & causes problems, (certainly hope there is ZERO lasting physical effects for Ballance), but I think the odds of Ali Mac a) landing a blow to the helmet - then b) causing the batsmen to retire would of been fantastical. The bits I have seen of Ali Mac of the years is very much pitch it up & do something with it. Great addition to his game. == == == Someone said Lion Youngsters? Wright - 27 & Clarke 31. Oh dear! == == ==

  • John on February 25, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    @RandyUK on (February 25, 2013, 18:20 GMT), I guess that when the result of the last ODI series between England and Australia was a 4-0 shellacking that was only prevented from being 5-0 by rain, taking comfort in beating an under-strength Lions team is a natural response. You make sure you enjoy it good. At least Australia will be stronger next time with Mike Hussey back in the team. Oh, hang on...

  • Brad on February 25, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    4th XI or not, Aus 'a' [effectively Aus C if you work it out] absolutely flogged you again

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