Paul celebrates West Indies call-up by upsetting England Lions


West Indies A 256 for 9 (Paul 55, Blackwood 53, Curran 3-41, Gleeson 3-52) beat England Lions 231 (Davies 38, Warrican 3-41, Paul 3-55) by 25 runs

Not long after a call-up to play international cricket, Keemo Paul showed he was ready for the step up, leading West Indies A to an unlikely victory over England Lions. The 21-year old former Under-19 champion came in to bat at No. 9, with his team on the ropes at 153 for 7 and in danger of not lasting the full 50 overs. Paul made 55 off 40 deliveries as an outrageous tail-end partnership – 97 runs in only 77 balls with Raymon Reifer – took the hosts to 252 for 9.

The target was still not very daunting and the Lions would have felt ahead of the game, cruising to 173 for 4 in the 40th over. But then came a match-defining collapse. The captain Keaton Jennings’ wicket started it all, caught and bowled for 33. Allrounder Sam Curran followed for 26. And the tail folded soon after, 26 runs short of their target, not even batting their full quota. Paul ended his big day with 3 for 55 having opened the bowling, and left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican was equally effecting, picking up 3 for 41.

England in the end were left to rue 10 overs of play that undid some excellent work after they had lost the toss. Curran and Richard Gleeson were excellent with the new ball, collecting six wickets between them for only 93 runs. In the face of their discipline, only one West Indies A batsman from the top six made a score more than 16. Jermaine Blackwood, who usually likes to have a go at the ball, made 53 off 75 balls, while he searched desperately for support. He did not find it while he was at the crease, but his wicket brought Paul into the game, and he bossed it from there.

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