ECB Reporters Network, 21 July 2016, where the title is “Malan 185* leads Lions rout of Sri Lanka A”
Dawid Malan rewrote the record books as England Lions made it two wins out of two in the 50-over Tri-Series by crushing Sri Lanka A in Northampton as comfortably as they had beaten Pakistan A in the opener in Cheltenham on Tuesday. Malan, who is leading the Lions for the first time in this series after his impressive performances in the winter, struck an unbeaten 185 from 126 balls with 16 fours and eight sixes – a new record for the Lions or England A in List A cricket, beating 168 by Ravi Bopara against West Indies A in Worcester in 2010.
With Daniel Bell-Drummond, Ben Duckett and Sam Billings adding half centuries, the Lions piled up 393 for 5 in their 50 overs after Malan had won the toss and chosen to bat – another Lions List A record, beating 378 for 6 against South Africa A in the Pretoria township of Mamelodi in January 2014, when Ben Stokes did most of the damage.
The Sri Lankans made a bold start to their reply, as Niroshan Dickwella, a left-hander who has played four Tests and was a member of their squad for the World T20 earlier this year, raced to a 36-ball half century.
But Mark Wood, picking up from where he left off in taking 3 for 27 in Cheltenham as he continues his comeback after ankle surgery, broke the opening stand of 82 in his second over when Dickwella chopped on to his stumps. Toby Roland-Jones then took two wickets in consecutive overs, and Sussex youngster George Garton took an athletic catch running in from third man to give Wood his second of four wickets that fell for 10 in the space of 24 balls.
Angelo Perera and captain Ashan Priyanjan steadied the Sri Lanka innings with a stand of 72, but the Lions remained well in control when drizzle set in – with 164 for 4 after 30 overs, the Sri Lankans were 88 runs short on the Duckworth-Lewis Method.
The Lions players now return to their counties to play in Friday’s round of NatWest T20 Blast fixtures, before reassembling in Canterbury on Saturday ahead of the last two matches of the Tri-Series at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence – against Pakistan on Sunday and Sri Lanka on Monday. Surrey’s teenage allrounder Sam Curran will join his elder brother Tom in the squad for those games, provided both come through a Blast game against Sussex Sharks at the Kia Oval on Friday night.