South beat North in series opener in Dubai
|First one-day match: North v South|
|North 202 (50 overs): Clarke 57; Curran 3-19|
|South 205-0 (33.3 overs): Malan 109*, Bell-Drummond 92*; White 0-43|
|South win by 10 wickets|
Middlesex and England Lions batsman Dawid Malan hit an unbeaten 109 as South made short work of North in the teams’ one-day series opener in Dubai.
North opted to bat but were unable to get a foothold, folding for 202 all out with Tom Curran taking three wickets.
But Malan and fellow South opener Daniel Bell-Drummond (92) had no such problem, reaching the total with more than 16 overs left to play.
The second of the three matches will be played on Sunday.
Malan, who was called up to England Twenty20 squad to face Sri Lanka in June but failed to make his international debut, hit 16 fours and a six from 109 balls after being dropped in the third over off the bowling of Tim Bresnan.
After surviving that scare amid a probing early spell from Bresnan and Mark Wood, South kicked on with only Northampton spinner Graeme White able to slow the scoring.
The team’s bowler impressed earlier in the day with Toby Roland-Jones and Mason Crane taking two wickets apiece. Steven Finn struggled however, conceding 43 runs for no wicket in his eight overs.
What is the North v South series?
The three-match series is designed as a warm-up for county cricket’s 50-over competition, the Royal London One-Day Cup, as well as helping players prepare for international cricket.
Eight players earned an automatic place on each team – with North represented by players from northern counties and South from southern counties – through the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s Most Valued Player ratings formula, while the remaining players were chosen by the England selectors.
The PCA MVP rankings system identifies the match-winners and key influencers of matches throughout the domestic season.
It takes into account conditions, quality of opposition, captaincy and strike rates as well as runs scored and wickets taken.
South are coached by England assistant Paul Farbrace, while bowling coach Ottis Gibson oversees the North squad.