Sri Lanka A v England Lions, 1st unofficial ODI, Dambulla January 27, 2012

Buttler serves up victory for England Lions

ESPNcricinfo staff

England Lions 335 for 5 (Buttler 102, Hales 94) beat Sri Lanka A 267 (Kandamby 54, Buck 4-39) by 68 runs

Somerset's young wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler confirmed some of his potential as one of the most promising of England's one-day prospects, with the first limited-overs century of his career against Sri Lanka A in Dambulla. Buttler hammered a 56-ball hundred to build on the good work from another tyro, Alex Hales, and his Somerset team-mate Craig Kieswetter as England Lions racked up 335 for 5 on their way to a 68-run win in the first unofficial ODI.

Another fresh face, that of Nathan Buck, did the damage with the ball, outshining the more experienced opening pair of Jade Dernbach and Chris Woakes to take 4 for 39 as Sri Lanka were dismissed for 267. Samit Patel also chipped in with three wickets to remind the selectors of his ample abilities ahead of England's forthcoming one-day commitments in the United Arab Emirates.

Sri Lanka A, whose line-up included full internationals of the calibre of Surav Randiv, Thilina Kandamby and Seekkuge Prasanna, got their reply off to a brisk start but lost wickets at regular intervals. Despite contributions right down the order, they were bowled out with 27 balls of their innings remaining, with Kandamby's 54 the top score.

England's performance showcased the talents of several of their next generation. Hales, who fell six short of his own hundred, and Buttler have already played in a handful of Twenty20 internationals, while James Taylor, the Lions captain, and Jonny Bairstow have been introduced to one-day international cricket in the last 12 months.

Taylor had expressed the hope that England's batsmen would click in Sri Lanka but, after losing the toss and being put in, the Lions fell to 47 for 2 in the 10th over. Following Joe Root's dismissal for 18, Taylor managed just 5, to bring his tally in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to 181 from eight innings. That brought Bairstow to wicket, however, and he and Hales put on 120 in 23 overs to regain the momentum, before the Yorkshire man fell to Kosala Kulasakera for 47.

Hales went shortly after but Kieswetter helped up the tempo with a 38-ball 50 - before becoming Thilan Thushara's third wicket - as he and Buttler added 100 in 12 overs. The 21-year-old Buttler then saw to it that England would post an unassailable total, adding 56 in partnership with Patel from the final four overs - of which Patel's contribution amounted to a seven-ball 5.

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  • Ayesh on January 28, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    @Kavum Except for sitting in front of a screen and hitting keyboard, have you ever really followed any of those players under 19 careers ? Could you please elaborate how those players were better than Banuka in both National & Internation levels ? Banukas performance in under 19 level, both local & international, exceeds even Mahela & Sanga. Well no one should take your comment seriously, after all you are the one who is calling England players, 3 rd raters !!!!

  • Sinhhalaya on January 28, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    @ Munkeymomo & @JG2704: seem to have raised your hackles somewhat eh? Kieswetter and Dernbach are definitely not 3rd raters due to their background and imported cricketing ethos which is in a different league to the homegrown poms (pun intended). I excluded them in my original comments. Patel, Woakes and (maybe) Bairstow are on the cusp of the second tier. The others: limited over bashing does not a cricketer make. Taylor and Buck have definite potential. However, these "scary talents" lost the one day series 3-2 to Bangladesh's second rankers. If Andy Flower gives any one of them an extended run in the first team, I will gladly eat my words. Since England were just shot out for 72 by Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, they might well get their chance.

  • Dummy4 on January 28, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    England A team touring,Bangladesh leg will help them to do good in SL leg.In Bangladesh they had to negociate some quality spin bowling.Its a good experience for young Lion's

  • Nuwan on January 28, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    Where is Kapugedara? why he is not selected even a sri Lanka A team.Kandambi nearly 30 pls,give his place to young Player.also he is not a one day type player????? bhanuka Done well.what My other Friends Opinion for this??????? Well Done Butler..I congarulate u as a true srisket lover in sri lanka... Sri lanka going worse ..........?????????????????????

  • Simon on January 28, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    Buttler is a scary talent, 51 off the last 4 overs. He's become known as Somerset's finisher, but there will be a point when we have to accept our best one day batsman can't bat at 6 (that includes Tresco, Hildreth, Trego, Kies), and he needs support, him and Kies lower down is perfect, as shown in this game, and we've got so many big hitters up early theres no reason why Kies can't bat with Buttler. Head and shoulders the best batsman in the Pro40, hit a hundred in the CC when no one could get in double figures, best average in Bangladesh, final of Pro40, that T20 QF knock against Notts, super calm at the crease and only shows emotion when he gets out.....and he can play wickie. Englands No.5 in ODIs and T20's - for the next 10-15 years?

  • John on January 28, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    @Munkeymomo on (January 27 2012, 18:02 PM GMT) I've wondered about Butler being played too low down the order too. I felt at times that Buttler was wasted being played so low down the order esp when the slower Compton and the slower and out of form Hildreth were above him in the order. I also feel that Jos is unlucky that Craig is at Somerset. The few times I've seen him keep wicket he has done an excellent job. Dare I say it he could be both a better WK and batsman than Craig. Not sure about his potential to play test cricket but I do feel he has a greater variety of shots than any young batsman in the England game right now , although like the above post says , if he plays for Eng then Somerset lose him. I'm also not so convinced about the signing of Morkel for the T20. Hope Buttler doesn't slide behind him in the order.@Kavum - You still think Buttler and Hales and Buck etc are 3rd rate?

  • Lakpriya on January 28, 2012, 3:10 GMT

    Can't understand what Kandamby and Warnpura are doing in the A side. Now they are not a in position to comeback to SL team. There are plenty of young players like S. Seransinghe, Roshen Silva who are doing well. Shouldn't they be given the chance. In the next 2,3 years 2,3 vacancies will be available in the senior team.

  • Dummy4 on January 28, 2012, 2:46 GMT

    What a crap write up, someone could at least have pretended they'd seen the game. The entire thing is clearly written straight from the scorecard.

  • Mark on January 27, 2012, 23:58 GMT

    @Kavum Buttler, Bairstow, Taylor and Kieswetter (man of the match in a world cup final let's not forget) at the very least from this team are more than third raters. Sri Lankan talent is obviously dwindling thin in your opinion. Buttler is going to be a world beater.

  • Sinhhalaya on January 27, 2012, 22:03 GMT

    Why couldn't SL A beard the England Lions in their own den? Most of the SL players were ODI caps. Apart from Saffers Kieswetter and Dernbach, these "English Lions" were third raters from the County circuit. Dismal showing of SL's second tier talent. Bhanuka: despite your fan mail we need more from you to believe that you are the next big thing like the stars Madugalle/Arjuna/Vass/Ara/Mahanama/Gura/Hashan/Murali were from U-19 days.

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