Sri Lanka A v England Lions, 3rd unofficial ODI, Kurunegala January 31, 2012

Karunaratne, Rajapaksa set up Sri Lanka A win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sri Lanka A 263 for 4 (Karunaratne 94, Rajapaksa 72) beat England Lions 258 for 9 (Buttler 119, Prasanna 3-32) by six wickets

Sri Lanka A battled their way back into the five-match series against England Lions with a six-wicket win in Kurunegala. Despite Jos Buttler's second century in three matches for the Lions, Sri Lanka completed their run chase with 15 balls to spare thanks in large part to a composed innings of 94 from No. 3 Dimuth Karunaratne.

Karunaratne, who made his ODI debut during Sri Lanka's tour of England last year, was involved in a century stand with Bhanuka Rajapaksa after the hosts had lost their first two wickets for just 22. The two youngsters combined to put on 132 in 23 overs, with Rajapaksa recording an almost run-a-ball 72. Karunaratne was denied a century when he was dismissed by Danny Briggs but by then Sri Lanka were comfortably placed to finish the job, with Thilina Kandamby sealing victory - and reaching his own half-century - with a six.

The Lions' innings had been based around another significant contribution from Buttler, whose first limited-overs hundred brought England victory in Dambulla last week. The Somerset man was on the losing side this time, however, as the rest of England's batsmen failed to make the most of their starts. Jonny Bairstow's 31 was the next-best score as England's momentum, particularly in the closing overs, was repeatedly checked by the tumble of wickets.