Jennings ton sees Lions to victory

England Lions 175 for 2 (Jennings 101*) beat UAE 174 (Meaker 4-38) by eight wickets

Keaton Jennings scored an unbeaten hundred in Dubai (file photo) © Getty Images

Keaton Jennings celebrated his call-up to England’s Test squad by scoring an unbeaten hundred to lead the Lions to victory in their first match against UAE. Jennings, captaining the side in his first appearance for England Lions, scored 101 off 103 balls to seal an eight-wicket win.

He was involved in a century stand with fellow opener Daniel Bell-Drummond, who made 40, and added another 59 with Tom Alsop, who was also making his debut.

The Lions had been set 175 to win after dismissing UAE in 45.3 overs, with the Surrey trio of Stuart Meaker, Tom and Sam Curran leading the way with the ball. Meaker claimed 4 for 38, with three victims caught behind the stumps by Surrey team-mate Ben Foakes, while the Currans picked up two wickets apiece.

“That couldn’t have gone much better,” said Jennings, who is set to leave for India next week and join up with England ahead of another potential debut in the fourth Test. “It was our first game together in the field after six or seven weeks, and a really enjoyable experience for me captaining the team.

“It was a decent wicket, so to keep them down to 170-odd was a really good effort. And then to spend some time in the middle for me was great, even if they were one-day runs – which is obviously different to how things will be in India.”

Having won the toss and decided to bowl, Toby Roland-Jones made the breakthrough for the Lions. Rohan Mustafa and Ghulam Shabeer added a 54-run second-wicket stand but Meaker separated them as wickets began to fall regularly. Ollie Rayner removed Shabeer and although Mana Shahzad top-scored with 38, he became Meaker’s third scalp.

England play UAE in two more 50-over matches before a four-day first-class fixture against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi starting on Wednesday.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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