Joe Clarke and England Lions are heading for a decider in their best of three T20 series against Perth Scorchers on Friday.

The Lions were beaten in the second contest by just six runs after winning the opening encounter earlier in the week.

Clarke, who had made 18 off eight balls in Game One, again went in first as the Lions chased a 149 target.

The 21-year-old made seven off 11 deliveries with one boundary before he fell victim to former Australian Test paceman Mitchell Johnson.

Nick Gubbins showed his mettle to a parochial Perth crowd with a gutsy half century against a fired-up Johnson

The Middlesex opener took a stinging blow to the ribs from the first ball he received from Johnson, but dusted himself down to make 68 from 52 balls, comfortably the highest score of the match.

The Lions chased a Scorchers total of 148 for five – in which Yorkshire’s David Willey thumped 37 from 24 balls, and Paul Coughlin and George Garton each took two wickets.

But after the loss of Gubbins, who was given run out late in the 19th over, the Lions just short – to the delight of a five-figure crowd who had been invited to attend the second match at the New Perth Stadium.

The Lions won an initial test event behind closed doors on Monday.