Injury throws Liam Plunkett's hopes of joining up with England's ODI squad into doubt
The 30-year-old seamer must come through fitness tests to assess whether he can take part in Friday’s second ODI, with the England and Wales Cricket Board reporting that his plans to fly to South Africa at the weekend have already been “revised”.
The Lions suffered two injury blows before the first of their five scheduled ODIs in the United Arab Emirates, with Plunkett’s fellow seamer Jamie Overton ruled out of the series because of soft tissue damage in his foot.
Overton is to return home to Somerset.
It is Plunkett’s problem – a strained muscle in his left thigh – though, which may have a direct impact on England’s hopes of adding limited-overs success to their Test series victory in South Africa.
A captain’s innings from James Vince helped the Lions to a five-wicket victory in Dubai.
Vince (70) led from the front after the Lions had dismissed their hosts for 192. They completed the chase with almost nine overs to spare at the ICC Academy ground.
Tom Curran took 3-29 before Vince and Dawid Malan shared an opening stand of 103 in just over 20 overs.
Sam Billings – who is set to feature in England’s two Twenty20 games with South Africa next month along with Vince – shared a fourth-wicket stand of 43 with Liam Dawson before sealing the win with only his second boundary in 52 balls, finishing on 35 not out.
Of Overton, Lions coach Andy Flower said: “It is a real shame that Jamie will not take part in this series.
“He was one of the better performers in our T20 series win pre-Christmas, and he was starting to really hit his straps on this section of the tour.”