Sri Lankans crumble to hand Leicestershire advantage
Leicestershire 93 for 1 and 341 v Sri Lanka A 176
Leicestershire surged to a clear advantage over Sri Lanka A on the second day at Grace Road, Wayne White picking up four wickets and Greg Smith reach an unbeaten fifty to secure a 258-run lead.
The Sri Lankans took the final two Leicestershire wickets early leaving James Taylor, whose century lit up the first day, unbeaten but were soon in deep trouble and were eventually bowled out for 176 in the 50th over.
White found most reward from the Sri Lankan batsmen, and Leicestershire continued their dominance in their second innings. Matthew Boyce was out for a nine-ball duck but Smith rushed to a fluent fifty and Taylor added a further unbeaten 32 to his tally before stumps.
Taylor had shared in several significant partnerships in the first innings but he and Nadeem Malik could extend their overnight partnership by only four runs before Malik was bowled to give Kosala Kulasekara his fifth wicket at the start of the morning session. Alex Wyatt lasted all of four deliveries before he was dismissed by Shaminda Eranga, leaving Taylor unbeaten on 168.
Lahiru Thirimanne, who made his Test debut against England at the Rose Bowl a month ago, then edged his second ball through to wicketkeeper Tom New as Sri Lanka A made a disastrous start. Neither all-out defence nor attack seemed to work for them, and when captain Kaushal Silva was caught behind off White they were 84 for 6 and sinking fast.
Kulasekara was the only batsman to turn time at the crease into significant runs, and he shared in a fighting 35-run stand for the ninth wicket with his new-ball partner, Eranga. After Eranga had been removed by Jigar Naik, White ended the innings by trapping Tharanga Lakshitha in front of his stumps for his fourth wicket.
Leicestershire weathered the early loss of Boyce and were soon adding to their hefty lead. Smith, who cracked nine fours and a six, brought up his fifty from just 52 deliveries and after playing himself in Taylor also began to pick up the tempo. They had put their team 258 ahead at the close, and Sri Lanka A could well be batted out of the match on the third day.