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

Morgan fifty lifts Lions

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 7, 2012

Comments: 28 | Text size: A | A

England Lions 140 for 4 (Morgan 50) v Australia A
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Eoin Morgan made a half-century batting at No. 3, England Lions v Australia A, 1st unofficial Test, Old Trafford, 1st day, August 7, 2012
Eoin Morgan made 50 in his first match as Lions captain © Getty Images
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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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Meety 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!!!!!!!!

Posted by Meety 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!

Posted by jeauxx 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!

Posted by MinusZero 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.

Posted by Meety 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!

Posted by CrazyBaldhead 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.

Posted by Ben1989 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!!

Posted by srriaj317 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!

Posted by RednWhiteArmy 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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by glynis on (August 8, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

To be fair, Nick's 'typical obdurate' innings, hardly fell short of the other players and their strike rates. Morgan was not much better

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 7:57 GMT)

Very good to see the Lyon amongst the wickets on the first day. Hard to think that any of the other bowlers are close to the test side at the moment, though Bird would of course be working his way up. Looks like Tom Cooper may be sending down a few of his offies before this game is over! Interesting scorecard.

Posted by disco_bob on (August 8, 2012, 6:51 GMT)

@SpiderB1964, at his best, which admittedly is all too rare, MJ is the best in the world. He terrorised SA in SA and destroyed England in Perth. For my money he's always worth revisiting through the A team, because I can't believe that there is not someone out there who can help him find his mojo.

Posted by jezzastyles on (August 8, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

@srriaj317 - this is a friggin' A-team tour; the purpose of which is to basically blood new talent and gauge their ability under pressure against a decent opposition - if they win, well and good, but the overall purpose of the tour is EXPERIENCE. The main thing you want to see from them is improvement and a good fighting spirit. That's also why so many players are rotated, and as @Ben1989 says, Cowan has little input in the selection process. Thanks for the balanced and unbiased input, it's basically what I've come to expect from certain segments of the cricketing fraternity. As for there being no hope for this country, at least we've had our time in the limelight, with one of the greatest teams of all time. Hence barely veiled jealousy. The bowlers seem to be doing a good job thus far, but will the batsmen deliver?? Cowan needs a hundred!!

Posted by zenboomerang on (August 8, 2012, 5:27 GMT)

@Ben1989... Agree on Cowan - many seem to forget that Inverarity, Marsh are on tour; guess Arthur & de Winter are floating around there somewhere - Ed would rank 4th in the selection process... Re: Johnson - he has been a long way off how Siddle, Hilfy, Harris, Patto (even Starc) performed last summer in Tests but he may have a role in replacing Lee in the shorter formats - seeing he still has a CA contract, Oz may as well see if he can regain some form, otherwise between Patto, Cummins, Starc, McDermott, NC-N, Cutting some will overtake him next summer... Johnson either performs well or he wont make it into our Test squad...

Posted by landl47 on (August 8, 2012, 4:47 GMT)

Two strange-looking sides- Australia with only 4 bowlers and England with only 4 batsmen. Both sides must have thought the pitch will turn, because they each have a couple of specialist spinners and England has a back-up spinner (Patel) as well. I wonder when an Australian side last played with only two seamers and not even a part-time back-up? A bit of a gamble batting first when today was forecast to be the worst weather of the game. It will be interesting to see how Aus's batting hopefuls get on against a pretty good Lions bowling attack.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (August 8, 2012, 4:32 GMT)

After last game the batting worried me too. It would be good to have Khawaja there who top scored against the Aus A team in both innings in the first game and is in fine form, however the likes of Forrest, Burns and Paine are good batsman who will get better on this tour.

Posted by Meety on (August 8, 2012, 4:28 GMT)

As with the other matches on this tour - can't really tell how well we've done until the 2nd innings of the match. On paper - good effort, if you only take 4 wickets in 66 overs, you need to make sure the scoring is slow - @ roughly 2po they've done that!

Posted by Meety on (August 8, 2012, 4:25 GMT)

@srriaj317 - I would suggest that Cowan has minimal input into the selection process for this squad, as there is at least one official member of the NSP on tour. BTW - we're the reigning U19s W/Cup champions - so I would also suggest that there is a lot more hope than you would think! @Nathan Kiely - I'd of had Ali Mac in, unless it's just a workload issue! @Ben1989 - agree 100%, although I have no real worries about MJ being given plenty of chances to get back into the Test team!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 8, 2012, 3:37 GMT)

Interesting to see Kieswetter in the Lions team for a FC game. Given that Bairstow has previously kept wicket and Davies is considered the reserve Test keeper, I wonder whether his inclusion signifies something.

Posted by slm6 on (August 8, 2012, 2:42 GMT)

To be fair to the U19s, I don't think being beaten by 13 runs qualifies as being "thrashed"

Posted by zenboomerang on (August 8, 2012, 2:10 GMT)

@srriaj317 :- "thrashed by the Windies in the U19 warmup"... lol... Losing by 13 runs is never a big loss, let alone your wild exaggeration... Though I am unsure what the current Oz WC U-19 champions have got to do with this match?... Sour grapes because of your teams standings maybe?...

Posted by Ben1989 on (August 8, 2012, 1:36 GMT)

srria the U19's was one game, yes we didn't play well, but that has no relevance to the international team, secondly obviously there's more to this wicket & it's possibly going to break up, why else would we pick 2 specialist spinners & the Lions picked 3? I agree that McDermott deserved to be picked over Johnsen & can't see the reasoning behind there.... lastly, do you really think Cowan has the final say on selection????? he's a captain not a bloody selector mate!! how did he have any input on Burns in the last 2 games?? first innings, he had a good knock, so was pushed down the order (LIKE COWAN) to give other guys experience, obviously last game they wanted to trail a few other batting swaps too, seriously you think Cowan has the final say on when Burns come's into bat & whether he plays?????? I don't think so, why would the Australian Board let our young talent be controlled by a capt of our Tour Team?? common sense man...

Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 1:17 GMT)

This mini junior Ashes should be on TV, seems a pretty enthralling little contest. No McDermott seems odd. Bird will do a job and the pitch appears good for spin, so Holland looks an appropriate inclusion. I think I speak for most when I say, we're over Johnson and I don't care how many wickets he can take against the Lions, please don't select him for the test side, he's now a has-been and a two bit inconsistent bowler.

Posted by SpiderB1964 on (August 8, 2012, 0:16 GMT)

Don't worry about the batting @Peterincanada... Cowan Forrest & Paine are all worthy Test cricketers... Paine could be anything if he can stay fit. Joe Burns will play a lot of Test cricket. Klinger won't play Tests, but he has been a good shield player for years. I'm more concerned about the chances being given to Mitchell Johnson, run out of free tickets for mine. Jackson Bird was a revelation this last shield season in Oz, tall, quick and took 50 odd wickets, although some of the tracks were tailor made for seam bowlers.

Posted by RandyOZ on (August 7, 2012, 23:24 GMT)

Lyon looking good again. Got the poms hoping about already!

Posted by srriaj317 on (August 7, 2012, 21:45 GMT)

This is possibly the bluntest bowling attack that could have been chosen by Cowan for the main game of the tour! What is it with him and youngsters (he didn't give Burns a proper run in the previous games!)?? McDermott is missing after a great performance and we still see Johnson running in! Will the inexperience of Bird and inconsistency of Johnson help each other? Either would have needed a solid bowler at the other end to support them! No hope for this country seeing how they got thrashed by the Windies in the U19 warmup too!

Posted by Peterincanada on (August 7, 2012, 19:53 GMT)

The bowling seemed to be ok. It's the batting that worries me.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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