Dom Sibley and Dan Lawrence make Australia A toil

Cricket

England Lions 3 for 274 (Lawrence 125*, Sibley 108*) v Australia A

Dom Sibley and Dan Lawrence made it back-to-back centuries as England Lions ended the opening day of the marquee match of their tour, against Australia A at the MCG, in a strong position on 3 for 274.

Sibley, an incumbent England opener who will soon be heading off on the tour of Sri Lanka, and Essex batsman Lawrence added an unbroken 219 for the fourth wicket after the Lions had slipped to 3 for 55 after being put into bat in the day-night fixture.

Jackson Bird and Jack Wildermuth, the latter a late addition to the squad after Marcus Stoinis’ injury, did the early damage. Zak Crawley, also part of England’s current Test set-up edged behind, and Keaton Jennings – another bound for Sri Lanka – gave a return catch to Wildermuth as did Sam Northeast a few moments later.

That was the last of the success for Australia A, though, as Sibley and Lawrence picked up their form from the CA XI match in Hobart although this was against a much sterner attack that included recent Test-squad members Michael Neser and Mitchell Swepson.

The pair reached their centuries under the floodlights late in the day do the tunes of a nearby Elton John concert.

“I’m really pleased to be able to carry on my good form and to help put the team in a strong position in the match,” Sibley said. “The conditions are tough and playing against a quality attack with a pink ball under floodlights is a new experience for us as a team. It has been a great learning experience so far and I’m delighted to have been able to make the most of it and put on a really good partnership with Dan.”

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