With ball, bat and on the field, England Lions proved to be a cut above Windies A as they handed their hapless visitors a third defeat on the bounce, this one by nine wickets, at the County Ground in Northampton. Pacer Reece Topley and left-arm spinner Liam Dawson picked up four wickets apiece to bowl Windies A for 162, a target that was hunted down at a canter by Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s unbeaten 80. The target, chased down with 25 overs, knocked Windies A out of the race for the final, a game that will now be contested by India A and the Lions.
Windies were a step behind in the contest right from the toss when Steven Mullaney invited the visitors to bat first under conducive conditions for the pacers. Topley was the destructor-in-chief, dismissing Chandrapaul Hemraj, Jermaine Blackwood and Andre McCarthy to leave Windies A reeling at 30 for 3. The visitors’ only period of resistance arrived soon after the early spice had subdued somewhat as Sunil Ambris and skipper Devon Thomas began a resurrection job.
The duo batted 17 overs and 67 runs before Lions captain Mulaney had Ambris caught by Dawson. That dismissal seemingly worked like a passing of the baton as Dawson took over to cripple the rest of the middle-order. Rakheem Cornwall was bowled in the next over with the well-set Thomas following suit three overs later. His dismissal for 45, with the team score on 113, was the death knell as far as the Windies resistance was concerned with the final four wickets falling for 49 runs and only Dominic Drakes offering any resistance.
There on, the Lions’ victory was but a matter of when as opposed to an if. Nick Gubbins and Kohler-Cadmore added 43 brisk runs before a run-out ended the former’s stay in the middle. That remained Windies’ only success on the field as Kohler-Cadmore and Sam Hain (48) attacked and then took the team past the finishing line while on auto pilot mode.
Brief scores: Windies A 162 in 44.3 overs (Devon Thomas 45; Liam Dawson 4-21, Reece Topley 4-16) lost to England Lions 163/1 in 25 overs (Tom Kohler-Cadmore 80*, Sam Hain 48) by 9 wickets.
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