Chasing a victory target of 296 in 90 overs, the visitors who were 146/1 at stumps yesterday, scored 297 losing five wickets 35 minutes into post-lunch session.
With five points from this outright victory against Central in their opening Group-B league tie, Lions now lead the table and are in an advantageous position to make it to the finals of the championship. The winners will take on West Zone (3 pts by virtue of first innings lead in their first tie against Central) in their last and most crucial league match to be played here from Feb 11.
Though Central Zone were able to break the overnight 116-run second wicket partnership between Carberry and skipper Michael Yardy (57) thro' medium-pacer Pankaj Singh without any further addition this morning, Carberry and Joyce frustrated their opponents by putting on solid 98 runs for the third wicket.
Carberry capitalising on the let-offs when on 8 and 83 off the bowling off Sanjay Bangar played a match winning knock that was studded with 15 fours and a six before he was adjudged lbw to Central Zone medium pacer Sumith Mathur.
Mathur, who returned an impressive figure of 8-2-25-3, brought some excitement to an otherwise a lacklustre game by removing Carbery, Joyce and wicket-keeper James Foster (28) in a span of six runs, but Jonathan Trott (28*, 31b) and Adil Rashid (24*, 20b) played sensibly to ensure no further damage to Lions as the only overseas team in the event romped home with 5 wickets in hand and 47 overs to spare.
Central Zone 270&180 lost to England Lions 155&297/5 (Michael Carberry 112, Michael Yardy 57, Ed Joyce 54, Trott 28 n o; Sumit Mathur 3 for 25).