SL A Emerging Players v England Lions, Colombo, 2nd day February 7, 2014

Kerrigan returns to help skittle hosts

ESPNcricinfo staff

England Lions 327 for 5 dec and 139 for 4 (Bairstow 58*) lead Sri Lanka A Emerging Players 153 (Borthwick 4-25, Kerrigan 3-31) by 313 runs

Simon Kerrigan slipped quietly back into action to take 3 for 31 as England Lions took firm control on the second day in Colombo.

Having initially been left at home with a back injury, Kerrigan made an unheralded entrance to Sri Lanka last week having passed a fitness test and enjoyed his first overs of the tour; an economical spell that helped fire out the hosts.

Kerrigan's first act was to have Danushka Gunathilaka caught behind, nipping in the bud a run-a-ball innings that had contributed to a bright start in the opening 10 overs.

But Gunathilaka was the third wicket to fall on a card featuring little occupation of the crease. It was quickly 49 for 4 and were it not for Chaturanga de Silva's half-century the innings would have been a complete disaster.

De Silva struck five fours and a six in a 78-ball innings but support was non-existent and his dismissal brought on a collapse of 5 for 18 that gave the Lions a 174-run lead.

De Silva was snared by Scott Borthwick, the latest English spinner to get a crack at Test cricket, and he returned a smart haul of 4 for 25, bowling Emerging Players captain Mahela Udawatte, having wicketkeeper Gayan Maneeshan caught by James Harris and taking a return catch from Kanishka Alvitigala.

"It was nice to get a few wickets and get through some overs," Borthwick told "I thought they played pretty well. They come at me hard, which is always a nice sign and a good chance to get wickets.

"They do play the spin well. Us spinners have talked about that and sort of come up with a few field placings and plans of how to combat that."

The Lions, having declared at the start of the day, briefly stumbled as they attempted to build the lead. James Vince and Borthwick were both sent up the order but they failed, along with Varun Chopra, to leave them wobbling at 25 for 3, before Jonny Bairstow's unbeaten half-century restored order.