Lumb hundred puts Lions level
England Lions 232 for 7 (Lumb 110, Taylor 61, Hasan 3-45, Riaz 3-52) beat Pakistan A 231 for 8 (Umair 61) by three wickets
Michael Lumb continued his impressive tour of UAE with 110 as England Lions levelled their one-day series against Pakistan A with a three-wicket victory in Dubai. Lumb, who hit the winning runs against England last week, added 109 with James Taylor after spin had again threatened to undo their run chase.
In the opening match the Lions were skittled for 96 as Pakistan A's spinners proved a real handful. A repeat looked on the cards when Andrew Gale and Ian Bell fell in consecutive deliveries to Raza Hasan to leave the Lions 56 for 3 chasing 232. However, this time a full-blown collapse didn't ensue as Lumb and Taylor firstly consolidated then became increasingly aggressive during the chase, although there was a small wobble late on as three wickets fell in five balls during the 49th over.
Lumb wasn't involved with the England Performance Programme earlier in the winter, but has taken his chance with the Lions so much so that he is being talked about as a potential candidate for the World Twenty20 in West Indies. His innings only included six fours and a six as he ran hard between the wickets to keep England on top of the asking rate.
"It was a good win for the boys today. I thought it was a fair score on this wicket, maybe we could have put a bit more pressure on them at the death but thought we bowled pretty well," Lumb said. "We knew we needed a couple of big partnerships if we were going to chase down that sort of total and it was pretty special getting a hundred.
"We're 1-1 going into the last game so we did the job today and Friday is a really big game for us. They're a good side and we'll need to play good cricket to beat them but we know that we're capable of it and it would be great to leave here with another series win."
Taylor, the Leicestershire batsman, also played a crucial role with his 61 which included five boundaries before he became Hasan's third wicket to give Pakistan A a glimmer of hope. However, Steven Davies added 55 with Lumb to take the Lions to the brink before the three late losses made the result slightly less emphatic.
The Lions bowlers had earlier chipped away steadily at Pakistan A, breaking partnerships each time they threatened to dominate. Peter Trego, drafted in for this match in place of Michael Carberry to strengthen the bowling options, helped control the scoring rate with nine overs for 24 and removed Asad Shafiq.
Umair Khan top-scored with 61 before falling to David Wainwright, while Steven Finn impressed with 2 for 30 and Sajid Mahmood also collected a couple. Wahab Riaz swung two sixes in his 17-ball 22, but this time the target was within the Lions' compass.