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WINTER WATCH: Rawlins stars again for England Young Lions

19-Dec-2016

Delray Rawlins was again in fine form for the England Young Lions, as they dominated the opening exchanges of their three-day fixture against a UAE XI at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium today.

Rawlins picked up three wickets with his left-arm spin as the UAE were skittled for 84 after choosing to bat first.

Yorkshire batsman Harry Brook was pressed into action with his occasional medium pace as a result of the injuries which have afflicted three of the five seamers in the Young Lions squad, and took two cheap wickets.

Brook then made an unbeaten 86 from 106 balls as the Young Lions replied with 200 for 2, hitting the only six of the day with a pull over midwicket.

Captain Max Holden had made 68 before retiring to give the less experienced members of the squad some time in the middle, and Surrey all-rounder Will Jacks ended the day unbeaten on 29.

Earlier Jack Blatherwick, the Nottinghamshire fast bowler who struggled in the first one-day match of the tour last week, continued his impressive improvement by taking three wickets in a bustling new-ball spell.

Brook claimed the eyecatching figures of 6-4-6-2, and Rawlins, the Bermuda-born left-arm spinner who has recently signed a first professional contract with Sussex, earned 3 for 10.

The Young Lions players are battling for places in the England Under-19 squad for a four-week tour of India early in 2017, which will include two four-day matches against India Under-19s in Chennai, and five one-day matches in Mumbai.

Durham seamer Josh Coughlin suffered a knee injury in the early stages of the trip but has stayed in Dubai to work on his batting and conditioning with Neil Killeen, Durham’s fast-bowling coach who is also on the Young Lions staff.

But Surrey spinner Amar Virdi flew home last week, while Worcestershire’s George Scrimshaw and Yorkshire’s Ed Barnes will be heading home tomorrow, all to work with the medical staff at their counties having suffered back and/or hamstring problems.

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