England Lions: Somerset’s Lewis Gregory captains injury-hit side against Australia A

England Lions: Somerset's Lewis Gregory captains injury-hit side against Australia A

Lewis Gregory has taken 44 Championship wickets in 2019 – more than any Division One fast bowler – and made 363 runs in eight games
England Lions v Australia A
Venue: Canterbury Date: 14-17 July

Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory has been chosen to lead England Lions in the four-day game against Australia A starting at Canterbury on 14 July.

There is also a late call-up for fit-again Surrey and England all-rounder Sam Curran, who comes in for injured Lancashire paceman Saqib Mahmood.

The Lions team contains three full Test players, Curran, Surrey team-mate Ben Foakes and Somerset spinner Jack Leach.

Warwickshire’s Sam Hain also comes in to replace Notts’ Ben Duckett (groin).

Hain, who has already made two England Lions appearances in first-class cricket and 17 in List A games, is rewarded for his two centuries against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl.

The Bears drew for the second successive week, despite conceding 500 runs in their first innings for the second game running.

Hain will play alongside one of his Warwickshire team-mates, Dom Sibley, the top-scoring Englishman in this season’s County Championship, bettered only by Glamorgan’s Australian all-rounder Marnus Labuschagne.

Both will miss the trip to Chelmsford to face Essex, who have established Lions paceman Jamie Porter lining up against the Aussies.

Foakes and Curran, in particular, are both interesting inclusions with the Ashes series just three weeks away and concern over the fitness of Jimmy Anderson.

Curran made the most recent of his nine Test appearances against the West Indies in Antigua in February, while Foakes and Leach were also on that tour.

Warwickshire are now without their two top Championship run scorers this season, Sam Hain (623) and Dom Sibley (940) for the trip to Essex

Kent opener Zak Crawley should enjoy playing on his home ground, while Surrey, Somerset and Warwickshire all provide two players each to the Lions side.

Porter and Hampshire’s Sam Northeast complete the contingent from Division One teams.

Two players from Division Two are included, Gloucestershire’s James Bracey, who has scored 420 runs in eight matches this season, and Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson, who has taken 40 Championship wickets and made 189 runs.

Lancashire’s Mahmood would have played, but he has pulled out with an abdominal strain which kept him from bowling in his side’s drawn game against Northants.

He is due to have a scan on Thursday, while fellow Lions player Liam Livingstone faces time on the sidelines with a rib muscle injury.

Australia A will go into the game on the back of their 10-wicket win over Sussex at Arundel on Wednesday.

Nottinghamshire’s James Pattinson, Jackson Bird (ex-Hampshire and Notts) and Jon Holland all took three wickets each as the hosts were bowled out for 120 in their second innings.

That followed first-innings centuries for openers Marcus Harris and Joe Burns (ex-Leicestershire, Middlesex, Glamorgan and Lancashire).

England Lions: Lewis Gregory capt, Jack Leach (both Somerset), Sam Hain, Dom Sibley (both Warwickshire), Sam Curran, Ben Foakes (both Surrey), Sam Northeast (Hampshire), Jamie Porter (Essex), Zak Crawley (Kent), James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Ollie Robinson (Sussex).

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