Manuel, bowlers help England draw series
England Under-19s 184 (Manuel 63, Jayarathne 3-22) beat Sri Lanka Under-19s 125 (Payne 4-40, Dunn 3-13) by 51 runs (D/L method)
England Under-19s prevailed over Sri Lanka Under-19s in the rain-affected fifth game in Canterbury as the visitors succumbed for 125, chasing 177 in 41 overs. England had struggled batting first and only managed 184 before being bowled out in 48.2 overs, but it proved sufficient to level the five-match series two-all. The teams share the spoils with the third game having been abandoned due to rain.
The hosts elected to bat and got off to a confident start, the openers adding 40 in 7.2 overs before Bhanuka Rajapaksa dismissed Joe Root. Lewis Gregory supported the set opener Jack Manuel, taking the score to 74 in 14.2 overs before wickets began to tumble.
Lahiru Jayaratne was the main tormentor, dismissing Gregory and Luke Wells within the space of three balls. Ateeq Javid did not last long and was run out for 9 as the innings began to lose steam. When Manuel fell for a fluent 63 off 74 balls with the score on 117, Sri Lanka sensed a chance to skittle out the opposition under 150. However, captain Paul Best, coming in at eight, put paid to those hopes with a responsible unbeaten 28. The rest of the tail held on to lift England to 184.
Sri Lanka's top order found the pair of Matt Dunn and David Payne too hot to handle. Ramith Rambukwella scored 16 runs as the opening batsmen added 21 in the first five overs. Things changed quickly after that, and 21 for 0 soon became 28 for 4. When Dhanushka Gunathilleke was dismissed for 5, Sri Lanka had lost half their side for 43. Rain intervened at this juncture and having lost five top-order wickets Sri Lanka came back facing a steeper target. Though three lower-order batsmen managed 20s, it was a task too steep for them and they were bowled out in the 35th over, Dunn and Payne sharing seven wickets in all.
Best was delighted with the result, saying after the match: "It was great to win the final match and level the one day series. The result was a fair reflection of the strength of the two teams and it was fantastic for England players ending their U19s career to finish on a high."