The County Ground has been taken over by international cricket this week, with the Tri-Series between England Lions, West Indies A and India A reaching the final stages of its round-robin.
First up on Thursday came the Lions’ match against the West Indies. Having been beaten by India in Leicester in their previous match, the Lions needed the win to confirm their place in the July 2nd final.
Coach Mark Ramprakash had said ahead of the game that it would be a good opportunity for his players to stake a claim for consideration for the Cricket World Cup 2019 squad, and they did just that with a comprehensive victory over the Caribbean outfit.
Having won the toss, captain Steven Mullaney opted to field, and his bowlers ripped through the West Indies batsmen, Reece Topley and Liam Dawson snaring four wickets apiece, Mullaney one, with Raymon Reifer being run out by Sam Hain.
The Lions then made short work of their 162-run target, losing just the one wicket en route to the win in just 25 overs. Tom Kohler-Cadmore top scored with 80 not out, with Nick Gubbins hitting 27 before being run out and Hain 48, with eight extras making up the difference.
On Friday it was India A’s turn to face the West Indies. Again the West Indies lost the toss, but this time they had to field against an Indian XI looking for some good time at the crease ahead of Monday’s re-match with the Lions at the Oval.
India’s 354-6 was underpinned by centuries for opener Prithvi Shaw (102 in 90 balls) and Hanuma Vihari (147 in 131 balls), and while the West Indies managed to limit the next highest scorer to just 28 their bowlers were also architects of their own downfall, conceding 30 extras.
As they had done against the Lions, the Windies found it hard going at the crease, with none of their batsmen passing the 50 mark. Opener Chandrapaul Hemraj came closest with 43, but the efficiency of India’s bowling was not just reflected in the four extras they conceded, but also that they shared the 10 wickets between five of their six bowlers.
Axar Patel was the main strike weapon with figures of 4-34 from his 9.4 overs, and while Krishnappa Gowtham only had the one wicket to show for his efforts his economy rate of 2.80 in his 10 overs deserved plenty of respect.
Wickets fell at regular intervals, and the Windies were all out for 151 in 37.4 overs.
England Lions will play India A in the final at The Oval on Monday, July 2nd.
Twenty20 takes over the County Ground next week with both Leicestershire Foxes and Nottinghamshire Outlaws coming to town.
Advance tickets are £5 cheaper than on-the-day prices, so there is double the incentive to book now!
Junior tickets (3 to 14 years old) are £7, Adults are £20 and Family tickets (2 adults and up to 3 juniors) are £47.
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