JOE Clarke made a welcome return to form and top-scored for The North in the opening 50-over match with The South in Dubai.

The Worcestershire batsman made 57 off 59 balls batting at number five.

But the efforts of the 20-year-old were to no avail as The North were bowled out for 202 and then Dawid Malan and Daniel Bell-Drummond powered The South to a 10-wicket victory.

Clarke, who has experienced a challenging winter with England Lions, came to the wicket at 62-3 and struck two sixes and five fours.

He put on 63 in 10 overs with Tim Bresnan for the sixth wicket.

Clarke reached his half century off 49 balls and his two sixes came at the expense of spinner Mason Crane.

But he was bowled for 57 aiming an ambitious ramp shot at the first ball of Tom Curran’s second spell, seventh out at 193. It triggered a lower-order collapse as The North’s last four wickets tumbled for nine runs inside three overs.

Malan and Bell-Drummond made short work of the modest target, with more than 16 overs remaining when the Middlesex left-hander sealed victory with his 16th four.

Malan, who was included in an England T20 squad last summer after impressing with the Lions against Pakistan A in the winter of 2015-16, also hit a six as he ended unbeaten on 109 from 103 balls, while Bell-Drummond hit two sixes and 11 fours to reach 92 from 98.

The North suffered an early blow after their captain Keaton Jennings chose to bat first, when Curran claimed the scalp of Ben Duckett, edging a drive to Ben Foakes.

Bresnan joined Clarke in a counter-attacking stand, striking three sixes in making 40 off 41 balls.

But the Yorkshireman was bowled behind his legs trying to reverse sweep Dawson, the Hampshire all-rounder who bowled his 10 overs straight through to earn the excellent figures of two for 29.

After Clarke’s dismissal, Durham all-rounder Paul Coughlin was Dawson’s second victim, lbw for 19 as The South turned the screw.

The match was watched by England coach Trevor Bayliss as well as selectors James Whitaker and Mick Newell, with assistant coach Paul Farbrace enjoying a triumph over fast-bowling coach Ottis Gibson.