England Lions v SL A, 3rd one-dayer, Northampton August 16, 2011

Taylor century sets up series win

ESPNcricinfo staff

England Lions 282 for 9 (Taylor 111, Stokes 73) beat Sri Lanka A 147 (Kerrigan 3-21, Rankin 2-19) by 135 runs

James Taylor's century and Ben Stokes's fifty set up a series-clinching 135-run victory for England Lions over Sri Lanka A at Northampton.

It was Taylor's second hundred in three games and helped the Lions bounce back emphatically from their 10-wicket drubbing the game before. Taylor and Stokes helped the Lions recover from 38 for 3 to post 282 before the bowlers finished the job in style, skittling Sri Lanka A for 147 with over 20 overs to spare.

It was a captain's innings in the old sense from Taylor, anchoring the recovery at one end while Stokes was more positive from the other. Tharanga Lakshitha had done the early damage taking each of the first three wickets before the fightback started.

The pair added 98 with Stokes reaching his fifty first - from 45 balls - hitting seven fours and three sixes in his 65-ball 73. He fell just past the half-way stage to legspinner Seekkuge Prasanna. Though he had time to score plenty more his contribution would not have gone unnoticed by the England selectors who will be considering their squad for the upcoming India series.

Taylor was more restrained, taking 91 balls to make his half-century but steadily increased his pace as the innings wore on. At one stage - when the Lions slipped to 178 for 6 - it looked as though he may run out of partners but James Harris offered him sound support with 29. It took Taylor just 37 deliveries to go from fifty to his century and by the time he was last man out in the final over, he had struck eight fours and a six in his 111.

283 looked a challenging target and it proved much too difficult for the visitors. The promising four-pronged seam attack, which included Ireland's Boyd Rankin for the first time, shared seven wickets, while Lancashire left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan took the other three. The chase was as good as done by the third over when Sri Lanka A were reduced to 7 for 3.

Captain Dimuth Karunaratne resisted grimly for 30 from 43 balls in a stand with Sachithra Chaturanga, who made 35. Aside from them, though, wickets kept tumbling. It needed a 38-run ninth-wicket stand to push Sri Lanka A towards 150 but Kerrigan and Woakes finished off the match to give the Lions the series.

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  • Ranil on August 17, 2011, 12:43 GMT

    I think the Sri Lankan selectors made a hash of this important tour by decimating the original tour squad from time to time;they pulled out Chandimal at the begining and later Eranga, who did wonderfully well yesterday in the 3ODI, from the mid tour.I thought whether the minds of Thrimanne and Karunaratne who played against the England during the tour are still in Colombo moaning about their non selection to the Sri Lankan squad.Bopara is a flop and instead Taylor should have been given the nod for the fourth test. Ranil Herath -Kent

  • Samuel on August 17, 2011, 11:10 GMT

    At least one of Taylor or Stokes will be in the ODI squad I reckon - with Trott's injury it's a chance to blood one of them. I'd probably throw both in to be honest; I'm not convinced about Bell at number six. He should really be batting in the top three, but for me Cook, Kieswetter and Pietersen have those positions nailed down. I'm not sure if Stokes will get in until he can bowl properly again though, in which case we may see Ravi get another chance. Still, what a fine performance by the youngsters - there were players in the SL A side with international experience, and to beat them at a format they're probably more comfortable with is a fantastic effort.

  • Dummy4 on August 17, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    Taylor banging out runs for the past 2 seasons consistently and on fire at the moment, yet Bopara who has struggled to score apart from one off innings is selected ahead of him

  • David on August 17, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Another fine innings from Taylor, who is a fine prospect, as is Jonny Bairstow, who claimed 6 victims without even getting a mention in the report.

  • John on August 16, 2011, 22:29 GMT

    Taylor is definitely making a statement here. This is a pretty good Sri Lanka A-side and Taylor has made a lot of runs against them. At 21 years old, he's a heck of a prospect.

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