Javid and Bell-Drummond ensure series-levelling victory
England U-19s 321 and 221 for 4 (Javid 89, Bell-Drummond 88*) beat Sri Lanka U-19s 317 and 224 (Vithanage 53, Ball 5-64) by six wickets
England surged to a series-levelling six-wicket win, overcoming a tenacious Sri Lanka side after four days of hard fought cricket at Scarborough. Having folded in the first Test, this was a spirited comeback by an England side beset with off-field problems. That they completed victory was largely down to a 174-run fourth-wicket stand between Daniel Bell-Drummond and Ateeq Javid that hauled England out of trouble at 25 for 3 to make their 221 chase a formality.
Rather than try to blaze their way out of trouble Bell-Drummond, still only 16, and Javid patiently dug in and ground the Sri Lankan bowlers down. In a partnership that lasted the best part of 61 overs runs were eked out at a snail's pace.
Javid struck 11 boundaries and batted for nearly four hours, and was the first of the pair to reach his half-century off 111 balls. Bell-Drummond was equally resolute at the other end, taking 137 deliveries to register his fifty as the pair batted throughout the afternoon session.
Finally Sri Lanka struck, with offspinner Rumesh Buddika trapping Javid in front for 89 but by that stage England had victory in their sights. Jack Manuel ensured they got over the line with the minimum of fuss, swiping a couple of fours and a six to end unbeaten on 18 off 13 balls. Throughout Bell-Drummond stood firm, finishing undefeated on 88 after 197 deliveries to carry England home. It was an innings of immense maturity at the top of the order, made all the more special after a frustrating morning for England's bowlers and fielders.
With Sri Lanka starting the day at 171 for 7, England would have fancied their chances of wrapping things up quickly and getting the chase underway. Jacob Ball got them off to a good start, adding two wickets to his overnight haul to bring up his five-for but a 40-run final wicket stand halted England in their tracks. Sanitha de Mel smashed six boundaries and took the Sri Lankan lead to a competitive level, but England's diligent batsmen ensured it wasn't enough.