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England star tips Alex Lees for success on Test debut after half-century in warm-up


Alex Lees made an impressive half-century in England’s warm-up match ahead of his impending Test debut against the West Indies

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Alex Lees is one of four players who could make their Test debuts during England ‘s tour of the West Indies this month and the Durham star has been tipped for success by his new opening partner Zak Crawley.

Lees is the newest opener England have turned to after Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed’s poor showings in the Ashes saw them dropped and the 28-year-old impressed in a warm-up match against a West Indies President’s XI.

Batting alongside the more aggressive Crawley, Lees was part of an 88-run opening partnership which was higher than any of England’s during the Ashes.

While Crawley looked fluent as he made 62, Lees was much more watchful for his 65, making just one run off his first 36 balls.







Alex Lees made an impressive half-century in England’s warm-up match ahead of his impending Test debut against the West Indies
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Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

A solitary moment of aggression came when he hit spinner Bryan Charles over long on for six, but it was virtually the only time he hit the ball in the air.

Lees also shared a 98-run partnership with England skipper Joe Root, who made 54 in his first innings since deciding to move up the order to number three.

Speaking after the day’s play, Crawley was full of praise for his new partner, backing him to impress in Test match cricket.

“I’ve always rated Alex,” Crawley said. “Always thought he was a really good player. He’s got a great temperament for this level, doesn’t seem like much fazes him.

“He’s really good to bat with in the middle, really calm and up for quite a chilled atmosphere. I think he’ll do well at this level.”

Reflecting on his own half-century, Crawley added: “I felt in decent touch. I was thankful to bat with a left-hander at the top. Sometimes you get a couple of loose ones.







Zak Crawley is confident that Lees will be a success in Test cricket
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Image:

Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

“I think it does help [having a left-right combination]. You get a few more balls on your legs or a bit wider if they’ve been bowling at the lefty for a little bit.

“Leesy puts them under pressure a little bit in slightly different ways to what I do so it works quite well.”

Dan Lawrence, preferred over Ollie Pope at number four, finished the day on 46 not out and will be looking to become the fourth England batter to pass fifty when he resumes his innings alongside Jonny Bairstow.

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