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Flower 'disappointed' as Lions spin issues exposed in whitewash

Jomel Warrican holds the ball aloft CWI Media

West Indies A 236 (Brooks 63, Mahmood 3-50) and 273 for 9 dec (Hamilton 79, Bess 5-88) beat England Lions 102 (Hameed 48, Warrican 6-33) and 195 (Warrican 5-88) by 212 runs
Scorecard

West Indies A completed a 3-0 whitewash over England Lions in the unofficial Tests as Jomel Warrican capped an impressive personal series with a haul of 11 for 88, giving him 31 wickets over three matches at an average of 8.96.

The Lions' struggles against spin continued as they were bowled out for 102 in their first innings, Warrican taking a six-for. That left them facing a deficit of 134 and, after West Indies A declared their second innings on 273 for 9, Warrican was again their tormentor as the Lions were wrapped up for 195 on the final morning.

Four of the Lions' top six made it to 20 but none got beyond 26, as Warrican collected his fourth five-wicket haul of the series. Haseeb Hameed top-scored in each innings, a 130-ball 48 spanning two-and-a-half hours the closest the tourists came to recording a half-century in the match.

Afterward, the Lions coach, Andy Flower, suggested that while he was disappointed with such a heavy defeat, the steep learning curve would be beneficial to batsmen learning how to play spin. Only three Lions players managed to score fifties in the series and none averaged more than Hameed's 27.83.

"We want to see what the players are made of and how good they are under pressure," Flower said. "This was strong opposition with 92 Test caps in their squad compared to 14 in ours. It's exactly the type of challenge we want to put in front of our youngsters. In that sense the tour has allowed us to learn a great deal about the players but the results are obviously extremely disappointing.

"We have come up against two spinners who have offered challenges in difficult conditions and the disappointing thing is that the batting line up haven't learnt how to deal with those conditions across the course of the series.

"They have shown glimpses of improvement and Haseeb Hameed showed the sort of form that we know he is capable of, but again, nobody went on and made that match-winning contribution. This series has given us the opportunity to really learn about these batsmen in alien conditions."

With Warrican and Rahkeem Cornwall topping the wicket-takers' list, the Lions could take something from the performance of Somerset pair Jack Leach and debutant Dom Bess, who claimed 5 for 88 in the West Indies A second innings. Leach was far and away the pick of the Lions bowlers, with 18 wickets came at 21.05.

"With the West Indies having two quality spinners it has given our guys an opportunity to learn from them as well, and that is another great thing about these Lions tours," Flower said.

"Jack has been excellent across the three Test matches, taking 18 wickets at 21. He should be really proud of his performances over the series. Bess came into the team for the final match after waiting patiently for his opportunity and showed the skill he possesses.

"He has worked incredibly hard, has an excellent attitude and bowled beautifully for his five-wicket haul."