Westley thrilled with England Lions form


Tom Westley continued his fine form for England Lions top-scoring with 97 against Sri Lanka A at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

Although he missed out on a 100 for the second consecutive game, Westley was delighted to be scoring substantial scores.

He said: “It is disappointing when you first get out so close to a century – especially when it’s happened twice in a week. But as Tom Curran said to me when I got back in the dressing room, you’d have taken 97 at the start of the day – and it was a decent contribution to the team getting 300.

“It is frustrating though, because I would have probably played the same shot again. I just picked out the man at leg gully which was a bit unfortunate really.

“Toby was fantastic at the end, and we’ve got them four down now, so we’re in good spirits after day one.

“Playing spin was a key focus of mine when we were asked in our profiling day at Loughborough (ECB Performance Centre) at the end of the season. I really wanted to have confidence in my defence against spin, and I’ve been pleased with how I’ve developed on that front. I had a decent knock against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi before Christmas, again in the warm-up game here, and now in this game I’ve managed to get another decent score under my belt – and I think a lot of that is my confidence defending against spin.”

On Livingstone? (they put on 136 in the warm-up game, and 126 today) “We’re rooming together at the moment – so I don’t really want to be spending time out in the middle with him as well. He’s nice to bat with because he’s quite an aggressive player, he hits boundaries, and that allows me to keep plodding along.”

England selector Angus Fraser is also in attendance in Sri Lanka keeping an eye on proceedings and Westley has certainly caught the eye of the Middlesex Managing Director of Cricket.

He added: ““Westley batted beautifully. Losing two early wickets he was under a bit of pressure, going out there far earlier than he would have thought. But him and Livingstone manoeuvred the ball around really well, put the bad balls away, took the easy singles that were on offer, and looked in total control.

“It was good to see. Certainly for Liam, he’s not played a lot of first-class cricket yet, so to see him strike the ball as well as he did was good – and the same with Tom, he was unbelievably strong off his legs.”