Nick Gubbins: Middlesex opener stars in South's win over North in Barbados

Nick Gubbins
Nick Gubbins struck his third List A century in Barbados
North v South, Kensington Oval
South 347 (49 overs): Gubbins 116, Rawlins 53, Bell-Drummond 52; Mahmood 5-60
North 284 (47.1 overs): Mullaney 57, Hain 48; S Curran 3-51, Bess 3-61
South won by 63 runs

Middlesex batsman Nick Gubbins overcame cramp to hit a century and impress England's selectors in the South's win over the North in Barbados.

Gubbins struck 116 from 99 balls to help the South post 347 and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match 50-over series.

The opener was so exhausted by his efforts that he sat out the second innings in the heat of Bridgetown.

"My whole body spasmed with cramp, every muscle you can think of - it was a bit of strange one," he said.

The North v South series was revived last year by the England and Wales Cricket Board as a way for players to warm up for the One-Day Cup, prepare for international cricket and impress national selectors.

The South won the 2017 series 3-0 in the United Arab Emirates and they continued their perfect record at the Kensington Oval in front of director of England cricket Andrew Strauss, selectors Angus Fraser and Mick Newell and coaches Paul Collingwood, Andy Flower and Mark Ramprakash.

Gubbins and Kent opener Daniel Bell-Drummond (52) put on 134 inside 19 overs before Sussex all-rounder Delray Rawlins smashed 53 from 41 balls, with only Lancashire seamer Saqib Mahmood (5-60) dragging things back with five late wickets, all bowled.

The total proved out of reach for the North, with Surrey's Sam Curran (3-51) and Somerset's Dom Bess (3-61) the pick of the bowlers as Nottinghamshire's Steven Mullaney (57) and Warwickshire's Sam Hain (48) top-scored in their 284.

"We did everything we spoke about," Gubbins told BBC Radio 5 live. "Everyone chipped in. To get 350 it takes a complete batting performance and for the bowlers to then take 10 wickets, it's a real confidence-booster.

"It's a funny series in a sense, but both teams are still eager to win."

The series resumes on Wednesday, with the final match on Friday.

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