Eng Lions v Aus A, 1st unofficial Test, Old Trafford, 1st day August 7, 2012

Morgan fifty lifts Lions

ESPNcricinfo staff

England Lions 140 for 4 (Morgan 50) v Australia A

Eoin Morgan made 50 batting at No. 3 for England Lions before three wickets in the evening session brought Australia A back into the match on a damp opening day of the first unofficial Test.

With a slow, turning pitch expected at Old Trafford - 34 wickets fell to spinners in Lancashire's Championship match against Worcestershire last month - the Lions included Samit Patel, James Tredwell and the local boy Simon Kerrigan, for his first Lions appearance, while Australia A picked only two quicks in their four-man attack.

Ravi Bopara, who missed England's second Test against South Africa for personal reasons, was not included for the Lions after deciding he was not ready for a return to cricket.

Morgan, captaining the side, elected to bat despite rainfall during the morning that delayed the start until 2.30pm. In testing conditions, the Lions openers, Joe Root and Nick Compton, scored seven runs from the first seven overs, before Mitchell Johnson had the former caught behind off the glove.

That brought in Morgan and he and Compton buckled down for a 79-run partnership. Nathan Lyon removed the Somerset batsman after a typically obdurate innings, his 46 coming off 137 balls, and it was Lyon's offspin that also accounted for Jonny Bairstow after another painstaking stay at the crease.

Morgan had already reached his fifty but Johnson struck in the next over, having the England batsman caught at mid-on, to leave the Lions 114 for 4. However, Patel was joined by Craig Kieswetter to shore up the innings and remain unbeaten the close.

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  • Andrew on August 10, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    @ jeauxx - apparently about 5 yrs ago, Greg Matthews told Cowan, that he will score 5,00 runs in Test cricket!!! SO he only has 4,642 more to go to prove him right! @Ben1989 - 'spose we spoke too soon!!!!!!!!

  • Andrew on August 9, 2012, 3:02 GMT

    @srriaj317 - I would suggest your grammar is a bit misleading as you did say "...No hope for this country seeing how THEY got thrashed by the Windies..." - which suggests otherwise. Assuming you are an Ozzy, (unlike OzzyHammond), you need to inject a bigger dose of optimism, we don't concede easily!

  • Joe on August 9, 2012, 0:15 GMT

    To all those complaining about Australia A selections: as Jezza says, this is an A tour. The idea is to give everybody playing time. You'll see your favourites (Burns, Smith, McDermott) in the next game.

    ...On the tour so far: How good is Eddy Cowan going? You can't help but feel that he's a real step above our state specialists now in terms of quality. His average has sky-rocketed from mid-30s well into the 40s, and I wager it will be 45+ by the end of the Shield season. Let's see him show that quality at Test level!

  • Harvey on August 8, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    England were let off the hook. 4-142 and managed over 300 in the first innings. Obviously this is one of those rare good performances from Mitchell Johnson. Only 9 more games now before the next good one.

  • Andrew on August 8, 2012, 20:58 GMT

    Woakes was the stand out for England on Day 2. He was pretty much responsible for getting England from a sub-par 250 ish, to 300+, which will be a reasonable score. Good performance from MJ, & happy that Bird got a couple of break thru's. Also very good that Cowan continued his good form in ENgland, & a ig chance for Klinger to finally put his hand up. So all in all Oz in a good position, but they were in that position against Durham at the end of Day 2!

  • David on August 8, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    Poor side that England have put out here - If the Aussies play to their potential they should get the better of this encounter. I really can't see ANY of that England team having a test future exept perhaps Joe Root. Although I have a lot of time for Chris Woakes I just don't think that a bowler with his lack of pace would be effective against quality batsmen at the highest level. The rest are journeymen (i.e Compton, Harris, Meaker, Tredwell, Kerrigan) or one-day specialists (i.e. Morgan who will never ever be a test batsman , Bairstow, and Kieswetter). Eng. selectors seem obsessed with either bringing in overseas players which I find shameful, or players that they have monitored for many years coming through their system. Any signs of individuality are discouraged (unless your'e foreign!) so Swann was picked 4 years too late and Monty and Ben Stokes are marginalised. Not all gloom though, some good youngsters coming through U19s (Bell- Drummond, Foakes) and TT nearing fitness again.

  • Ben on August 8, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    @meety I have to say, it looks like MJ isn't going for runs so hopefully thats a sign, I guess if he fires up he'll certainly be more handy than McDermott against the saffa's later this yr!!

  • Sriraj on August 8, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    @zenboomerang: I think you might further find to your surprise that my team's standings are the same as yours i.e. we follow the same country. Can someone explain to me how one has sour grapes or jealousy towards their own country? FYI I was following the U19 game right from ball one and the final margin says 13 runs defeat only thanks to some late hitting by Ashton Turner in the last 5 overs after the match had already been lost. Even if this is an A tour, if we really want the Ashes back, we need to win here to atleast drill a psychological advantage in. Not that the 4-0 loss helped!

  • Sean on August 8, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    Surely the ECB could have given the lads a harder challenge that this...We could have got New Zealand A or someone who might challenge the lions abit.

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    Not sure how Forrest gets a game after continually failing and Smith misses out after scoring a 78 at number 3.

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