England Lions: Visitors On Top Against Sri Lanka A Despite Struggles With The Bat

February 19, 2017

England Lions earned a healthy 261-run lead over Sri Lanka A by the end of day two of the first unofficial Test, despite struggling to stumps on 112-6 in their second innings.

Slow-left-armer Malinda Pushpakumara took 3-28 to reduce the visitors to 85-6 at one stage - Keaton Jennings top-scoring with 37 - before Sam Curran (14no) and brother Tom (13no) safely saw out the final 12 overs of the day.

Earlier, Toby Roland-Jones followed up his fine counter-attacking 82 with the bat on the opening day to finish with 4-51 with the ball as the Lions bowled out their hosts for 167 in their first innings.

His Middlesex team-mate, offspinner Ollie Rayner, also impressed, taking 3-27, including the big wicket of top-scorer Sandun Weerakkody (68).

Sri Lanka had resumed the day already struggling on 29-4 and swiftly lost a fifth wicket when Dhananjaya de Silva (3) was run out for three.

Weerakkody recovered things slightly, putting on a 51-run partnership with Dilruwan Perera (37) for the sixth wicket until he was trapped lbw by Rayner.

Perera found another willing partner in Pushpakumara (26), before Roland-Jones and Rayner shared the final four wickets between them to earn England a 149-run first-innings lead.

In reply, the Lions lost two quick wickets, with Haseeb Hameed bowled by Lahiru Gamage (1-13) for a duck, and Nick Gubbins out lbw to Perera (2-42) for two.

Tom Westley (15) and Liam Livingstone (16) both made starts but couldn't kick on, while Pushpakumara then dismissed Ben Foakes (2) and skipper Jennings in consecutive overs.

Despite England's struggles, however, the Curran's small stand - lifting England above 100 in their second innings and towards a 300-run lead - sees the visitors well on top at the halfway stage of the four-day match.


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