Pakistan A v England Lions, 1st one-dayer, Dubai January 20, 2016

Vince and Curran star in Lions victory

ESPNcricinfo staff

England Lions 194 for 5 (Vince 70) beat Pakistan 192 (Alam 51, T Curran 3-29) by five wickets

Tom Curran picked up 3 for 29 for England Lions © Chris Whiteoak

England Lions took the opening match of their one-day series against Pakistan by five wickets with an efficient all-round display in Dubai. The captain James Vince starred with a brisk 70 as England chased down 193 with nearly nine overs to spare after success in the field had been shared around.

Tom Curran claimed 3 for 29, including Pakistan A's top-scorer Fawad Alam with a sharp caught and bowled, while there were two wickets apiece for Jake Ball, Tom Westley and Craig Overton as the absence of Jamie Overton and Liam Plunkett due to injury was covered impressively.

The chase was given an ideal start as Vince and Dawid Malan added 103 in 20 overs before Mohammad Nawaz stuck in consecutive deliveries. Vince could not take the chance for three figures when he was run out, meaning England had lost 3 for 22 in seven overs, but any danger of a collapse was averted by Sam Billings and Liam Dawson who took their side close to victory.

Curran had made an early breakthrough after England had opted to bowl first when he removed Sami Aslam, then when Ball and Overton struck in consecutive overs Pakistan A were 49 for 3.

Engalnd's fielding was impressive with Curran holding a terrific catch at backward point to remove Abid Ali before grabbing the return catch off Alam later in the innings, while Joe Clarke was alert at deep midwicket to take the chance offered by Bilal Asif.

The spinners had a key role to play, the combined 18 overs between Westley and Liam Dawson returning 3 for 70 as Pakistan A struggled to lift the tempo amid a regular fall of wickets. Their highest partnership was the 37 added for the sixth wicket between Alam and Mohammad Hasan.

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  • landl47 on January 21, 2016, 21:50 GMT

    @Nutcutlet: the problem for Tom Curran, as I see it, is the same as was the problem for Chris Woakes. He needs that bit of extra pace to hurry the top batsmen on flat wickets. In order to get more speed he might lose the swing and nip that he had before and have to relearn it, as Woakes has. It's a lot easier to start as a tearaway fast bowler and cut your pace a bit. Some of the best bowlers ever have done that, such as Richard Hadlee, Shaun Pollock, Glenn McGrath, even Stuart Broad, who all became better bowlers once they slowed down while still having that effort ball in their arsenal. Tom seems to me to be more like Clint McKay and James Faulkner. His natural pace, from an action without a lot of body in it, is medium+. That's great for short format cricket, but not so good for tests. I'm willing to be proved wrong, I've been wrong lots of times!

  • landl47 on January 21, 2016, 21:36 GMT

    @Brusselslion: When I was growing up Garry Sobers was my idol. I saw him in England in 1963 and 1966 (his performances on that tour were astounding- 722 runs @103, 20 wickets @27, 10 catches and he captained the side). Being a left-handed batsman and bowler myself, I hoped..... but I was only a useful club cricketer, played with professionals but wasn't good enough to be one. Seeing Sam Curran is like watching what I hoped I might be. He's not Sobers (who is?) but he's the nearest thing anybody has been to play for an English side in my memory. I will watch his career with, as they say, considerable interest.

  • Lmaotsetung on January 21, 2016, 21:35 GMT

    Sam Curran will be showcasing his talent in the upcoming U19 WC. We'll get an early indication on where he's at in his development.

  • whatawicket on January 21, 2016, 14:41 GMT

    did not seem than long ago that we were talking about stuart broad a young kid, who was shooting up in height, that could end up 6'8". well he ended up at 6'6" and taken 300+ wickets. lets hop a few of these young kids on the present A team or lions tours, can bring to the game in the future. makes my old heart happy. the english game looks to be in good hand and andrew strauss pulling the strings, the signs are good

  • brusselslion on January 21, 2016, 13:40 GMT

    @Landl47: Sam is only 17 so it's reasonable to assume that he may become physically stronger and quicker naturally. Still 'ifs, buts and maybes', but if he does continue to develop then England have a hell of a prospect on their hands. Alec Stewart - not someone particularly known for hyperbole - called Sam the 'best 17 year old he had ever seen'. (Tom is also a very good prospect, and seems to be doing well in UAE at the moment). I guess that we know more about both of them this time next year. They were the new kids on the block last season. Now that the oppos know a bit more about them, it will be more difficult. They will also step up in class (CC1 as opposed to CC2), although at the risk of upsetting people - Yorkshire aside - I don't think the difference is as great as it was a few years back.

  • zzby on January 21, 2016, 9:16 GMT

    What kind of A team selection is this where performance in domestic tournament is ignored. What was the criteria for selection

  • Nutcutlet on January 21, 2016, 7:29 GMT

    @Landl: It's going to be fascinating, this Curran - watch! Yes, Many people including me have said that if Tom is a very very good prospect, then Sam is even better! Right now, England cricket is waking up to the older brother: he has his first season in Div 1 coming up... He's still developing and may well be a tad nippier than he was last term. You should know that speed is not the be-all and end-all of a swing and seam bowler (out and out quicks often have very short careers anyway). He is hugely skilled with a ton of stamina, besides promising much with the bat and being a gun fielder with superb reactions. Sam looks classy with the bat and whippy with the ball... He has A level exams in the early summer, but by July he may well be showing everyone what he can do against the best counties... The future is not our business, but it should be worth waiting for! BW

  • landl47 on January 21, 2016, 5:17 GMT

    Great to see Vince making runs. He's a classy player and his only drawback is that he seems to have spells when he can't get going- the start of the 2015 FC season and the Lions tour before Christmas are recent examples. If he can get rid of that problem he could be a test #3. @Nutcutlet: Tom Curran's a good player (though I think Sam will be even better) but does he have the pace to be a test bowler? At the moment he looks more like a SF bowler to me. Good length, does a bit, but only around 80mph/130kph. The same length and movement at 87mph/140kph would make him a test candidate, don't you think?

  • Lmaotsetung on January 21, 2016, 2:38 GMT

    Time is still on Vince's side. While the likes of Root, Stokes, Bairstow have kicked on, he can still make it into the test side so my guess is he will be battling with Ballance for a middle order spot.

  • jmcilhinney on January 20, 2016, 23:29 GMT

    Good to see Vince back in the runs. He's got to hope that he can keep himself in the reckoning for England's WT20 squad with some 50-over innings after a wretched T20 series for the Lions.

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