In a fiery display of pace bowling, Sam Curran managed to pick a fifer in a span of 18 deliveries to instigate an Australia XI collapse and then scored a gritty half century in the second innings to force a draw in their game against the England Lions at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury.
Playing against an Australian side that included the likes of Tim Paine, Mathew Wade and Travis Head, the youngster rose to the occasion as he got the England Lions back into the game with a late flurry of wickets. Curran, who represents Kings XI Punjab in the VIVO Indian Premier League, dismissed both Wade and Mitchell Marsh, who were the second and third highest scorers for Australia XI respectively.
The youngster also accounted for four straight wickets at the death, accounting for six successive scalps in half an hour, trapping captain Paine plumb in front of the wicket before going on to dismiss three of the opposition bowlers. Curran ended the first innings with figures of 6/95, as the England Lions clawed their way back into the contest following an early onslaught by Wade and Head, who both got centuries. From 320/3, Australia A collapsed to 396/9 due to Curran's efforts alone and evenually folded up for 397.
The cricketer from Surrey then contributed with the bat as well, coming in with his side in a spot of bother at 159/5. He forged a clinical 73 run partnership with Warwickshire batter Sam Hain, eventually succummbing for a resolute 50 after facing some quality Australian International bowlers like Jackson Bird, Jon Holland and Marsh.
While he may not have got wickets in the second innings, he made up for it with a gritty knock to save the home side. Set a daunting target of 383, the England Lions were at a shaky 154/5 when Curran joined Sam Hain in the middle. The two batted out 31.3 overs for an unbeaten partnership of 113 runs, of which Curran managed an 81-ball 56* aided with 7 fours to top-score in the innings, for a draw.