England U-19 fight back well
England U19 294 all out (Smith 78*, Harmison 76) and 16/0 lead Sri Lanka U19 227 all out (Fernando 54, Smith 4-26) by 83 runs with 10 wickets remaining
England fought back strongly on the day two of the second Test thanks to a resiliant lower-order and an excellent bowling performance, ending the day with a healthy lead of 83 over Sri Lanka.
England started the day on 144 for 7, with Ben Harmison and Tom Smith at the crease. Both batsmen prospered, and they extended their partnership to 105 before Harmison was caught-and-bowled by Sachithra Serasinghe for an impressive 76 from 93 balls. Smith, however, continued the good work and with the assistance of a resiliant tail, put on partnerships of 32 with both Adam Harrison and number eleven, Mark Footitt. This was a fine performance by England's lower-order, frustrating Sri Lanka's bowlers after their excellent display on the first day. In taking Harrison's wicket, Shalika Karunanayake ended with figures of 5 for 78, his first five-wicket haul in only his fifth first-class game.
In reply, Sri Lanka got off to a terrible start, losing Sameera de Zoysa, a left-handed opener from Kurunegala, for just two. Wickets continued to fall with regularity, and only Ashan Peiris - who is not yet 18 years-old - provided substance to Sri Lanka's top-order, with a patient innings of 40. Sri Lanka, like England, were indebted to a fighting lower-order to achieve a score of respectability. Charles Fernando struck a blistering and powerful innings of 54, from just 42 balls with five 4s and four 6s, to take Sri Lanka to 227 all out. England's bowlers shared the wickets, but their batting hero of the first innings, Smith, was the most penetrative, taking 4 for 26 from 14 economical overs.
England ended the day unbeaten on 16, with a small but significant lead of 83, and will aim to bat out the majority of day three to extend their lead. Much rests on Sri Lanka's opening bowlers, Mathews and Gunasinghe, to restrict Sri Lanka's eventual target tomorrow.