Ollie Pope stars as England Lions beat Pakistan A

Ollie Pope
Ollie Pope

England Lions moved 2-1 ahead in their unofficial one-day international series against Pakistan A after Ollie Pope underpinned a 22-run victory in Abu Dhabi.

Pope, who made his senior England debut last summer, enhanced his growing reputation with a measured and mature List A best of 93 not out from 109 deliveries after the Lions had stumbled to 57 for four.

His contribution ushered the Lions to 245 all out, a total that proved out of Pakistan's reach despite Mohammad Rizwan's lone hand, the captain amassing an incredible 141 not out from his side's 223 for nine.

Pope had earlier been the linchpin in the Lions' innings after they had opted to bat first, the young Surrey batsman finding the boundary rope infrequently but exploiting gaps in the field to take the singles on offer.

He found a willing ally in Lions captain Lewis Gregory, who contributed 40 in a key 77-run stand for the sixth wicket, but it was Pope who got the side to a competitive total, narrowly missing out on a century in the process.

Pakistan were three wickets down before the end of the seventh over and they would have folded completely were it not for the composed Rizwan.

Adil Amin (32) was the only other Pakistan batsman to reach double figures as Rizwan ploughed a lone furrow, taking the run chase to the final over.

Rizwan thrashed 12 fours and three sixes in a determined 154-ball knock while Somerset spinner Dom Bess was the pick of the Lions bowlers with three for 35.

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