Ashes: Gary Ballance hits a century for England Lions on day one
Gary Ballance struck 104 as England Lions ended the opening day against Australia on 269-9 at Wantage Road.
Last Updated: 17/08/13 6:30pm
The Yorkshire batsman made 104 to help the home team reach 269-9 after rain had delayed the start of a two-day fixture that was arranged after original opponents Northamptonshire qualified for Friends Life t20 finals day.
Lions skipper Eoin Morgan opted to bat first once the toss took place but could only contribute five to his team's cause before becoming one of three wickets to fall to off-spinner Nathan Lyon.
Moeen Ali fared much better, the Worcestershire all-rounder weighing in with 61 from 101 deliveries including six fours and a six.
He had come to the crease at the end of the sixth over following the dismissal of Luke Wells, the Sussex opener edging James Faulkner through to reserve wicketkeeper Matthew Wade to depart for 10.
Alex Lees - one of three Yorkshire players named in the Lions XI - became the second wicket to go down when he was caught by stand-in skipper Shane Watson at slip off Lyon's bowling for 33.
The same fielder-bowler combination also accounted for Morgan, the left-hander having played second fiddle to Moeen in a third-wicket alliance worth 32 when he slashed outside off stump to be caught behind the wicket.
Ballance helped add a further 70 on the way to making his third century in the month of August. He reached the milestone with a six off Steve Smith's leg spin, only to then fall lbw to the very next ball.
By that stage Moeen had already departed to Mitchell Starc, and the Lions had lost half their side when Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes fell to Lyon (3-80).
Jos Buttler (7) and Ballance fell in successive overs from Smith, the former smashing a full toss to deep mid-wicket, leaving Keith Barker (9 no) and Liam Plunkett, who finished up unbeaten on five, to see out the final four overs.