Article

Australia A crush Lions in ODI

16 February 2013 12:10

A Shaun Marsh century has guided Australia A to a comfortable seven-wicket win over the England Lions on Saturday.

The left-handed opener struck an unbeaten 100 at Blundstone Arena in Hobart before retiring hurt with a suspected right leg injury.

Marsh and Aaron Finch (80) helped the hosts to their target of 260 with five balls to spare, giving them victory in the first of five unofficial one-day internationals between the teams.

John Hastings (3-56) was the pick of the Australian bowlers as they restricted the Lions to 259-6 despite a fine knock of 105 from Varun Chopra.

The loss continued what has been a poor tour for the England Lions after they tasted defeat in all three 50-over matches against Victoria.

Hoping to get their first win on tour, the Lions won the toss and captain James Taylor elected to bat under blue skies in Tasmania.

They almost made the worst possible start but Australian wicketkeeper Tim Paine put down a sitter after Chopra edged Kane Richardson (1-58) in the first over.

The dropped chance would prove to be costly for Australia A, but they managed to keep the run rate under control and Hastings bowled James Vince (24) to start the 16th over.

Chopra and Taylor guided the tourists to 81-1 at the halfway mark before beginning to lift the tempo.

Taylor was given a life in the 33rd over - Marsh put down a tough chance - before he fell for 28, flicking a Richardson delivery to Cameron Boyce at deep mid-wicket.

Chopra brought up his ton in the 44th over as Ben Foakes (56 off 42) accelerated.

The centurion departed, while Gary Ballance (six) and Foakes followed, the latter two dismissed by Ben Cutting (2-53).

Rikki Clarke only added four before Ben Stokes (13 not out) and Craig Overton (nine) saw the Lions to a competitive total.

But Marsh and Finch made it look otherwise, crunching 30 off the first five overs before seeing the score to 48 without loss after 10.

Finch was the more aggressive and brought up his 50, including six fours and two sixes, in the 18th over when he swept Simon Kerrigan (1-60) to the boundary.

The 100 was up at the end of the 20th over and Marsh started to attack - his half-century coming off 69 balls.

The Lions got a much-needed breakthrough thanks to Stokes (1-40) as Finch picked out Taylor at mid-off.

Marsh collapsed while pushing for a quick single in the 41st over, with the Western Australian needing the physio just two runs shy of his ton.

He brought it up and retired hurt before Alex Doolan (39), Joe Burns (18) and Tim Paine (10) helped see Australia A home.

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