Rajapaksa ton seals Sri Lanka win
Sri Lanka Under-19 290 for 8 (Rajapaksa 130, Abeyratne 46, Gregory 3-43, Thakor 2-34) beat England Under-19 143 for 6 (Bell-Drummond 30, Rajapaksa 2-19, Jayathilake 2-21) by 31 runs (D/L method)
Sri Lanka Under-19 captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored his third hundred in three games against England Under-19 to set up a 31-run win, on the Duckworth/Lewis method, in the first of five Youth one-day internationals. Rajapaksa, who cracked centuries in both drawn Tests at Colombo and Galle, raced to 130 at a-run-a-ball before being dismissed by opposing captain Lewis Gregory as Sri Lanka reached 290 for 8.
With rain a constant threat, England's chase never really got going and they had reached 143 for 6 when the weather closed in decisively to bring an end to the game.
The rain had arrived for the first time during the break between innings, resulting in a revised target of 231 in 33 overs that was always going to be a challenging task for the English. Sam Wood, who was in sparkling form during the Tests, launched the innings with a flurry of boundaries but an ephemeral knock was soon ended by Rajapaksa's medium-pace. The Sri Lankan captain completed a fine all-round performance by bowling Adam Rossington in the same over as England slipped to 31 for 2.
Sri Lanka's spinners then took control, keeping a lid on England's run rate and picking up wickets at regular intervals. Bright innings from Gregory, Ateeq Javid and opener Daniel Bell-Drummond were swiftly cut short, with Supeshala Jayathilake striking twice and Amila Aponso and Shehan Jayasuriya picking up a wicket apiece. Adam contributed a bellicose 28 but England were well short of their target when the rain set in for good.
It could well have been a different story for the visitors had they exhibited better control with the ball after Gregory won the toss and sent Sri Lanka in. An erratic attack gave away a total of 45 extras - the third highest contribution to the innings - with fast bowler Matt Dunn the worst offender as he picked up two wickets but also sent down six wides and two no-balls.
Sri Lanka were 57 for 3, Gregory striking twice in his first spell, before a 57-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Rajapaksa and Dhananjaya de Silva steadied the innings. England took the upper hand once again when medium-pacer Shiv Thakor removed de Silva and Angelo Jayasinghe in quick succession, but Rajapaksa found an able partner in wicketkeeper Lasith Abeyratne and together they compiled the most impressive stand of the innings.
They had put together 139 at better than a-run-a-ball before Rajapaksa finally departed. Abeyratne followed him to the pavilion two balls later, run out for 46, but Sanitha de Mel helped boost the total before he fell to the final ball of the innings.