England Lions provide batting masterclass to win Tri-Series and prove international batting options in rude health

Five individual scores of more than 150 powered the England Lions to a series sweep over Pakistan and Sri Lanka A

England Lions provide batting masterclass to win Tri-Series and prove international batting options in rude health
The successful England Lions celebrate winning the Tri-Series (image via: Dawid Malan - Twitter)

A score of 171* by Daniel Bell-Drummond would usually grab all the headlines.

Unfortunately for the Kent batsman, his heroic innings was just the fourth highest individual score by an England Lion in their successful four-game Tri-Series.

Ben Duckett and Daniel Bell-Drummond shared an unbeaten stand of 367 at Canterbury (image source: Getty via Cricinfo)

Each fixture the Lions took part in against Sri Lanka's and Pakistan's 'A' teams saw an Englishman pass 150 in a stunning series which bodes extremely well for the future of English cricket.

Duckett steals the show with two mammoth totals

Without doubt the man to make his mark most in the series victory has been young Northamptonshire batsman Ben Duckett.

Starting the series at a sun-kissed Cheltenham, the diminutive left-hander played a stunning innings of 163* which saw England ease to a seven-wicket win over Pakistan to open their campaign.

Ben Duckett in action at Canterbury (image source: getty via cricinfo)

The number-three then went one better at Canterbury in the final game against Sri Lanka's A team, smashing an extraordinary 220 not out from 131 balls.

The innings which included six sixes and 29 fours showed an astonishing show of power and timing and at the age of just 21 you can be sure that Duckett will continue to go from strength-to-strength and an England call-up can not be too far down the line.

Malan leads Lions to four wins, while hitting unbeaten 185 at Northampton 

As the oldest member of the squad at 28, Dawid Malan was entrusted with captaining a young Lions outfit, and did so with aplomb leading them to four four straight victories.

From the moment he scored a stunning 103 for Middlesex in a T20 quarter-final eight years ago, the opener has been on England's radar and since then Malan has become a consistent run-maker in all forms of the game. 

Dawid Malan celebrates going to his ton (image source: getty via cricinfo)

In this series, despite scoring just 40 during three of his innings, the skipper saved his best for game two in Northampton against the Sri Lankans. 

Having won the toss, Malan carried his bat for the entire 50 overs, smoking 24 boundaries in his 126 ball innings which ended with him unbeaten on 185. 

Not just his highest score in one-day cricket, but his highest score in professional cricket, the knock propelled England to an 88-run victory on duckworth/lewis and showed his prowess as an international-callibre batsman.

Kent duo prosper on home deck with career bests

Having had little opportunity in the first two fixtures, Sam Billings waited until the series headed to his home ground before he joined the party. 

Sam Billings celebrates going to three-figures (image source: getty via cricinfo)

The 25-year-old has already played 12 international fixtures for England and taken part in this season's IPL, yet keeper-batsman is a position of strength for the national side and Billings is still waiting for his opportunity to really nail down a place in the side. 

Up against Pakistan 'A' in the series decider, England's top-order had finally failed and found themselves 49-4 inside ten overs allowing Billings to build a real innings of substance.

The Kent gloveman did just that, taking the attack back to Pakistan bowlers, reaching his century off of 97 balls, before eventually falling for 175 from 139 in the final over of the innings as England prevailed by 56 runs. 

Then in the final game of the series, Billings' Kent teammate Daniel Bell-Drummond came to the party, smashing his way to 171 not out as England score an astonishing 425-1 from their 50 overs. 

Batting alongside Duckett (220*), Bell-Drummond shared in an unbroken partnership of 367 from just over 38 overs as the Lions ended the series with a huge 140-run victory.

Daniel Bell-Drummond in full flow
Daniel Bell-Drummond in full flow (image source: getty via cricinfo)

The young opener stroked 15 fours and four sixes in his unbeaten 175 at the St Lawrence Ground as England ended the series with eight points from eight in the overall standings. 

This insanely high-scoring series has shown that the youngsters coming through in county cricket are more than ready to shine at a higher level if given the opportunity.

The likes of Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow have a number of ultra-talented players breathing down their necks which can only be a good thing for English cricket.