Javid and Rafiq give England control
England U19s 255 for 5 (Javid 79* Rafiq 73*) trail Sri Lanka U19s 287 (Dunn 4-50) by 32 runs
England Under-19s made steady progress on a rain-interrupted second day to finish 32 runs behind Sri Lanka Under-19s in the first Test at Northampton. When bad light brought a premature end to proceedings captain Azeem Rafiq and Ateeq Javid were both unbeaten with half-centuries having guided England out of trouble after they had slipped to 123 for 5.
With conditions still aiding the seamers Sri Lanka had to wait until the 23rd over to strike, with Charith Jayampathi snaring Daniel Bell-Drummond for a 32. Having broken the 77-run opening stand Jayampathi burst through with two quick wickets in his next over. He had Joe Root caught for a patient 40 and removed Luke Wells two balls later.
With England wobbling on 78 for 3 Lewis Gregory joined Javid for a careful 45-run stand before Chathura Peiris revived Sri Lanka's fortunes with two wickets in two balls. First he trapped Gregory in front and then had Jack Manuel caught for a duck.
Thereafter Javid and Rafiq took control, easing to a 122-run stand in just under 31 overs. Rafiq was the more positive of the two, stroking 12 boundaries while Javid ticked along at his own pace, facing 130 balls for his 79. With the captain at the helm, England will look to push on tomorrow and, weather permitting, build a lead big enough to ensure there is no way back for the tourists.