England U-19's batsmen extend lead
England U19 294 all out and 261 for 7 (Chopra 64, James 50*) lead Sri Lanka U19 227 all out (Fernando 54, Smith 4-26) by 328 runs with three wickets remaining
England's dominance of this match continued on day three of the second Test, as they extended their lead to a daunting 328 runs against Sri Lanka. Despite scoring turgidly for most of the day, their lead is almost certainly enough.
England had a first-innings advantage of 67 when they bowled Sri Lanka out yesterday. Starting on 16 without loss this morning, they were disappointed to lose Joe Denly, cheaply, for the second time in the match. However, his fellow opener, Varun Chopra compiled a very patient knock of 64, to cement his side's innings together. Chopra, from Essex, only struck four 4s, but his stickability was invaluable as he spent over three hours at the crease.
The most aggressive partnership of the day came between Chris Thompson and Nicholas James, who put on 91. James's half century came briskly, from 63 balls, and his seven boundaries, including three sixes, helped drive the momentum of England's innings forward.
Sri Lanka's bowlers were reasonably tidy, but only Chathupama Gunasinghe, a medium pacer from Galle, looked penetrative. His figures of 4 for 61 helped stem England's run-rate to under three per over; although they didn't collapse, the continual tumble of wickets prevented them from truly dominating Sri Lanka's attack. Despite this, their lead of 328 ought to prove more than enough - but they will need to leave themselves enough time to bowl Sri Lanka out tomorrow.