- Australia A v England Lions, 4th unofficial ODI, Sydney
Finch ton crushes England Lions
England Lions continued their streak of poor performances with a 45-run loss to Australia A in the fourth unofficial ODI in Sydney on Monday. The Lions are still winless on the tour, having lost both their tour matches and all the unofficial ODIs played so far.
Australia A's victory was set up by an aggressive ton from captain Aaron Finch. Having chosen to bat first, Finch put aside the quick dismissals of Joe Burns and Callum Ferguson to dominate a lax Lions attack, which conceded 27 extras in the match.
Finch combined with Adam Voges to add 177 runs for the third wicket in 31.4 overs. Voges scored a steady 81, hitting nine fours during his 105-ball knock, before he was run out in the 40th over. England Lions then made a brief comeback picking up three wickets for 35, including the wicket of Finch, to leave Australia A at 240 for 6. A blistering seventh-wicket stand of 44 runs off 26 balls between wicketkeeper Tim Paine and Cameron Boyce boosted Australia A to 285 for 8.
England Lions' reply centred solely on Gary Ballance's innings. Alex Hales and captain James Taylor were dismissed early. Ballance consolidated the innings with a 56-run partnership with Varun Chopra but the latter squandered a good start falling to fast bowler Alister McDermott.
Ballance then stitched together some useful partnerships with Ben Foakes and James Vince to keep Lions in the game. After the 40th over, Lions still needed a stiff 86. The game changed in the next over as Ballance left the field after being struck on the head by a bouncer from McDermott. He did not return to bat and, although Rikki Clarke and Roland-Jones tried pushing up the score with some quick runs, England Lions were eventually dismissed for 240.