Westley stars again for England Lions


Tom Westley and Liam Livingstone hit unbeaten half centuries to steer England Lions out of a sticky situation in the opening game of their tour of Sri Lanka.

After dismissing the Board President’s XI for 153 on the first day of their only warm-up fixture before the two four-day games against Sri Lanka A, the Lions slipped to 69 for four in reply, with openers Keaton Jennings and Haseeb Hameed both going cheaply.

But Westley and Livingstone responded with an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 99 in 24 overs, meaning the Lions will resume on the second day of the three-day match 15 runs ahead.

Westley, who made an important 84 for the Lions in the first-class match against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi before Christmas, reached an unbeaten 65 from 108 balls with 12 boundaries.

Livingstone, who signed an extended contract with Lancashire just before the Lions left for Sri Lanka, will resume on 61 from 75 balls after reaching his half century with a six in addition to hitting seven fours.

Tom Helm had claimed the best figures after the home team chose to bat first, although the wickets were shared around as all seven of the specialist bowlers in the Lions squad had a decent spell in a game that does not have first-class status.

Tom Curran shared the new ball with Toby Roland-Jones and took a wicket in each of his first two overs to reduce the Board XI to 9-2.

Helm, who was fast-tracked into the Lions squad from the Pace Programme in December after impressing in the training camp in Dubai, ended with three for 18 from 7.3 overs, and there were three catches for Joe Clarke as he kept wicket in place of Ben Foakes, who has a back problem.

Sam Curran and the spinners Ollie Rayner and Jack Leach claimed one wicket apiece, and there were two for Leach’s Somerset team-mate Craig Overton.