England Lions seal series with second win

Aiden Markram (Gallo Images)
Aiden Markram (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Aiden Markram shone with bat and ball, but it was not enough as South Africa ‘A’ slipped to an irreversible 2-0 series scoreline against the England Lions when they fell to a 144-run loss in their second unofficial One-Day International in Northampton  on Saturday.

The tourists had already lost the opening game of the three-match series by nine-wickets on Thursday, and even though they improved at the County Ground, it was not enough to overcome another strong performance by the hosts.

Young opening batsman Markram was the shining light though, top-scoring with 50 (49 balls, 8 fours, 1 six) and also picking up career-best figures of 4/45 with the ball.

The South Africans had won the toss at the start and asked the home side to take first strike. The Lions made the most of the opportunity by amassing an impressive 349/7 thanks to a dashing century from Liam Livingstone, who smashed 129 (83 balls, 10 fours, 8 sixes). Dawid Malan also continued his impressive form by following his ton in the first game with 84 (89 balls, 13 fours, 1 six).

Markram was the best of the bowlers, while Duanne Olivier collected 2/54.

Chasing a mammoth 350 for victory, pressure was always going to be on the away side. They did not make the best of starts after losing Reeza Hendricks (4) early, but Markram’s second-wicket stand of 70 with Jon Jon Smuts (22) gave them hope. It quickly faded once Liam Dawson (4/41) made the breakthrough, despite starts for most of the middle-order.

Theunis de Bruyn (16), Temba Bavuma (18), Heino Kuhn (17) and captain Khaya Zondo (14) were out after just starting to find their feet, while Jason Smith tried his best by throwing the bat late on before he was last man out for 43.

The South Africans eventually folded in 41.3 overs to remain winless on the tour so far.

Their two warm-up matches were washed out and the final 50-over game of the trip is against the Lions at the same venue on Monday.


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