Eng U-19s v SL U-19s, 2nd Twenty20, Chester-le-Street August 3, 2010

Root guides England to drawn series

Cricinfo staff

England Under-19s 164 for 4 (Root 59*, Gregory 55) beat Sri Lanka Under-19s 118 (Vithanage 48, Root 3-17, Thorpe 3-21) by 46 runs

Joe Root put in an outstanding all-round performance as England earned a share of the two-match Twenty20 series with a much improved display against Sri Lanka that earned them a comfortable 46-run victory at Chester-le-Street.

Root, the Yorkshire allrounder, hit 59 as England made 164 for 4 then claimed three wickets after he opened the bowling. Sri Lanka were threatening in the run-chase at 63 for 2 but they fell away badly as James Thorpe took 3 for 21.

After their nine-wicket thrashing in the first Twenty20, England made a positive start in this encounter as Root and Jack Manuel added 41 in 4.4 overs before Root combined with Lewis Gregory (55) as they added 103 for the second wicket. Gregory hit six fours and a six in his 36-ball innings, while Root played the anchor with a more sedate 59 off 57 as he batted throughout the innings.

In reply, Sri Lanka made a poor start when Ramith Rambukwella fell to the second ball of the innings and they were in further troubled when Root also struck in his first over. Kithuruwan Vithanage gave Sri Lanka hope with a powerful 48 from just 20 balls, which included three sixes, but when he was bowled by Thorpe the chase faded.

Root returned to take two more wickets and captain Paul Best also impressed with a tight spell as Sri Lanka were bowled out with two overs remaining. The two sides now meet in a five-match ODI series.

"The team learnt some valuable lessons from the first match and it was good to see them respond and produce a much better batting performance today including a record second wicket partnership between Joe Root and Lewis Gregory," David Parsons, the ECB performance director," said. "This sets up a fascinating one-day series and the team can prepare for it knowing that they are capable of beating Sri Lanka but will need to consistently produce some of their very best cricket to win the series."