Wright blows Bangladesh away
England Lions 353 for 4 (Wright 143*, Ballance 115) beat Bangladesh A 151 (Carberry 2-2, Wright 2-5) by 202 runs
Luke Wright staked his case for a return to England's one-day plans with a dominating hundred in the Lions' crushing, 202-run defeat of Bangladesh A at Bristol. Wright hammered an unbeaten 143 from just 68 balls as the Lions piled up 353 for 4 from 50 overs and then took two wickets in his only over as the tourists were dismissed for 151.
Gary Ballance, who made a century in a two-day match against Australia last week, scored 115 to further enhance a reputation that has swelled this season but it was Wright, captaining the Lions in this series, who stole the show with an aggressive display that included 11 fours and ten sixes.
The pacing of Wright's innings was Twenty20-esque, as his strike rate bounced higher every over. He reached 50 off 26 balls, and needed just another 25 to complete his seventh List A hundred.
Wright hit Sohag Gazi, Rubel Hossain and Mominul Haque for three sixes each. Monimul was smashed for 24 in his only over, as Wright hit him for three consecutive sixes, although handing a part-timer the 46th over against a rampant Wright was a dubious decision. He was severe on the other bowlers, too, and his acceleration jump-started the Lions' innings, which hovered below five runs an over until the 37th over.
With Ballance, Wright crunched 176 in the last 13 overs, his in-form batting partner providing him with just the support needed for such an innings. Their fourth-wicket partnership brought 225 runs in just over 20 overs, making sure the Lions crossed the 350-run mark. Ballance, the Yorkshire batsman pressing for a senior call-up was hardly noticed in Wright's mayhem but his 115 came off 89 balls, with four sixes and ten boundaries.
Bangladesh A could have been expected to step up in this contest against England's second-string side but they remained ordinary with the ball for a third successive game. While it would be hard to look past Wright's innings, the bowling attack comprised of only one uncapped pace bowler, Al-Amin Hossain, who took 2 for 69 - Elias Sunny and Naeem Islam took one each.
Their batsmen, too, batted like the Bangladesh of old, ie. trying to bat out the 50 overs rather than batting to the tune of the target. The chase was massive, and it was doubly hard against the likes of Boyd Rankin, Northamptonshire's Friends Life Twenty20 hero David Willey, and a tight spell from Danny Briggs, who took 2 for 37 in 10 overs.
Captain Jahurul Islam laboured to 36 off 80 balls, an example of the visitors' fast declining confidence after their five consecutive losses in the tour matches since the first week of August. Briggs, Wright and Michael Carberry picked up two wickets each, the last two having just bowled one over apiece at the death. There was one wicket each for the four seamers at the top.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here