January 27, 2020 / 6:23 PM / 20 days ago

England test trio to join Lions squad after South Africa triumph

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - South Africa v England - Fourth Test - Imperial Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa - January 24, 2020 England's Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley celebrate a century partnership REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

(Reuters) - Dom Sibley, Dom Bess and Zak Crawley will join up with the England Lions squad for the red-ball leg of their tour of Australia after impressing with the senior team in South Africa, the England and Wales Cricket Board said on Monday.

England sealed a 191-run win in the fourth test against South Africa at The Wanderers to complete a 3-1 series victory.

The trio were already named in the original Lions squad last month, but their fitness levels were monitored in recent weeks as their playing time increased with the senior team.

Sibley scored his maiden hundred in Cape Town and finished with series with 324 runs at an average of 54, while Crawley celebrated his first test half-century in the final test.

In the absence of Jack Leach, off-spinner Bess claimed his first test five-wicket haul in Port Elizabeth.

“It has been great to see them performing so well in the test arena and the Lions tour is an opportunity for them to continue their development in international cricket, gaining experience in a wider range of conditions,” ECB performance director Mo Bobat said.

“This will not only allow them to hone their skills on Australian wickets for future Ashes series, but is also a chance to continue their form with selection for England’s Sri Lanka tour on the horizon.”

Lions will play three four-day matches in Australia, starting against Cricket Australia XI in Hobart from Feb. 15-18.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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