Honours even on day two
England U-19s 223 for 6 (Best 27*, Ball 1*, Peiris 4-58) trail Sri Lanka U-19s 317 (Karunanayake 90, Best 5-53) by 94 runs
After going neck and neck for much of the first Test, England and Sri Lanka's Under-19s continued their close-fought contest into the second day of the second match at Scarborough. England managed to keep off-field events in the background as they overcame a decidedly shaky start to their innings thanks to some gritty resistance from their lower middle order, finishing the day 94 runs in arrears on 223 for 6 after Sri Lanka were dismissed for 317 in the morning.
Charith Jayampathi had battled gamely for his 31, but when he was dismissed by Jacob Ball Sri Lanka's innings came to a swift end, David Payne castling Nadeera Rajaguru in the following over. The atmosphere in the England camp will have been far from ideal after their captain for the first Test, Azeem Rafiq, was dropped for "inappropriate conduct" and responded with a foul-mouthed rant on Twitter, and when they lost two wickets in an over to slip to 17 for 2 within the first seven overs it appeared a collapse was imminent.
But Luke Wells and Ateeq Javid steadied the innings with a 78-run stand, Wells going to his half-century from 106 balls with eight fours. Chathura Peiris, the left-arm seamer whose wickets played an important role in Sri Lanka's triumph in the first Test, ensured that England never took the upper hand, however, snapping Wells and Javids' stand and then returning to dismiss Jack Manuel just before stumps after he had launched another fightback with an attacking 57.
Paul Best, the Warwickshire left-arm spinner whose 5 for 53 kept Sri Lanka in check on the first day, chipped in with a stubborn unbeaten 27, and if he can find support from England's lower order then England will continue to challenge Sri Lanka and hold on to hopes of squaring the series.