Record-breaking Northants batsman Ben Duckett smashed an incredible 220 not out for England Lions in their 140-run win over Sri Lanka A at Canterbury, and declared it ‘the best day of my career so far’.
Duckett and Kent opener Daniel Bell-Drummond smashed their way into the record books with the second-highest one-day partnership in the world, as the Lions cruised to victory.
Duckett’s unbeaten 220 came from off just 131 balls and featured six sixes and 29 fours.
It is the record for an England Lions player – topping captain Dawid Malan’s 185 from last week - and is a score that has been exceeded only once in one-day cricket by an Englishman, which was when Ali Brown plundered 268 for Surrey against Glamorgan back in 2002.
He shared in an unbeaten 367-run partnership with Bell-Drummond from only 232 balls, with his partner striking 171 not out.
The partnership was the highest one-day score at Canterbury – a record held by England’s Eoin Morgan and Nick Compton since 2009 – and just to make sure of their place in history, the duo also recorded the highest one-day score at the Spitfire Ground.
England’s win means they win the tri-nations series, having beaten Sri Lanka A twice and Pakistan A twice.
“It’s been the best day of my career so far,” said Duckett, who also cracked an unbeaten 163 against Pakistan A last week.
“There were a couple of times early on when I hit it, it dropped short of fielders and I got a bit of luck.
“When I got to 100 I said I’m going to push on. It was my day I guess – every time I hit the ball it went into the gap.
“There was a lot of spin bowling, which I do prefer facing. I’ll try and continue this run of form and score some runs when I go back to Northampton.”
England won the toss and chose to bat with Malan’s the only England wicket to fall, for 23 off 31 balls.
Sri Lanka were positive in their reply, but four wickets from George Garton, two from Liam Dawson and one each for Dawid Malan and Brett D’Oliveira ensured Sri Lanka were all out for 285.
England Lions coach Andy Flower said: “We’ve played four matches and we’ve won four.
“We’ve had some great performances and we have taken opportunities to put young players out there. It’s a healthy thing for England cricket if they are pushing for places.
“There have been some great performances, some exciting performances – we have seen four centurions and some very big individual scores this season.”
England Lions’ record-breaking innings
Second-highest second-wicket partnership in List A history – only behind Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels’ 372 for West Indies v Zimbabwe, 2015
Highest second-wicket partnership in any Lions or A Team history overtaking Jason Roy and James Vince’s 198 in England v South Africa A, Kimberley 2015
Highest partnership for any wicket in any Lions or A Team history overtaking Gary Ballance and Luke Wright’s 224 for England v Bangladesh A, Bristol 2013
Highest team total for Lions/ England A beating 393 for five v Sri Lanka A at the County Ground in Northampton last week
Second-highest total in all ‘A-team’ cricket history after 433 for three between India A and South Africa A, Pretoria 2013
Daniel Bell-Drummond’s 171 not out is the highest-ever for a number one batsman, overtaking Michael Carberry’s 146 against Bangladesh A, Taunton 2013
Ben Duckett’s 220 not out is the highest score by a number three batsman in List A history, overtaking Alvin Kallicharan’s 206 during Warwickshire v Oxford University, Edgbaston 1984
425 for one is the highest team score for a team losing only one wicket in List A history. The previous highest was 398 for one, Tasmania v Queensland, 2014.