JACK Leach recorded the best ever match figures by an England Lions spinner on his way to finishing with 8-112 against West Indies A in Jamaica.

The Somerset man claimed 5-28 from 13 overs in the second innings to go with his 3-84 from 34 first time around to set up a thrilling finish to the match, which the hosts eventually won by two wickets chasing just 106 to win.

Leach's figures are the best by any spinner in an England back-up side, whether it is the current Lions incarnation or the previous England A or England B teams.

Leach said: “We gave it a good go – but unfortunately we couldn’t quite get over the line.

“It was always going to be difficult, but we said we had to keep believing – on that wicket, things happen pretty quickly.

“I was happy with the way I bowled today.

"I maybe learned a bit from watching their spinners bowl in the second innings, although I think things could have been different in the first innings – I had a couple of good lbw shouts turned down, and you never know how it could have been different if they’d been given.

“I feel in a much better place about my game this winter. The Lions training camp in Australia before Christmas was a really tough trip for me, but I learned a hell of a lot playing on those wickets which were totally different again.

“Watching Nathan Lyon bowl on those wickets in the Ashes, seeing how he goes about things, and trying to take things from that.

"I changed a few things to try and get a bit more energy on the ball. That’s gone really well, I felt in a good place coming here, and it’s gone well in this game.

“It’s a bit about what I’m thinking in my head, a bit about how I use my body, my front side and my delivery stride and things like that.

"So I’ve changed a few things, but I’m always changing a few things trying to get better and better. But I probably feel now the most on top of my game I have - it’s just about mentally trying to deliver those skills."

The record was previously held by Graeme Swann, who recorded 8-156 against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 1999.

“It’s definitely nice to be up there with Swanny," Leach said.

"He was a great bowler, and obviously the aim for me is to go on and succeed in Test cricket as he did.”

Swann had to wait until the age of 29 to receive a Test debut and went on to enjoy a hugely successful five years at the top level, with England still yet to find a spinner capable of replacing him.

Leach, now 26, continues to outbowl Mason Crane, who made his Test bow in the fifth Ashes Test despite a modest First Class record.

Crane, 20, was given just 2.5 overs in spin-friendly conditions in West Indies' second innings - by contrast, Lancashire's occasional leg-break bowler Liam Livingstone bowled 12.

Yet it is the Hampshire youngster who has been named in England's Test squad for the upcoming tour of New Zealand - the first Test begins on March 22 in Auckland.