England under-19s held to a draw by Sri Lanka

15005119-largeMax Holden and his England under-19s side had to settle for a draw in their Youth Test against Sri Lanka at Fenner’s.

Visitors Sri Lanka resumed on the last day of the four-day match on 235 for 6, chasing England’s total of 500 for 9 declared.

They lost an early wicket when Ashen Bandara was caught by Holden, but then proceeded to reach 335 all out at the end of their first innings.

Charith Asalanka was the top scorer with 85 runs but there were some good contributions further down the order from Jehan Daniel (62) and Jamitha Silva (33).

Amar Virdi was the pick of the England bowlers, taking five for 77 off 26 overs.

England, captained by Cambridge Granta’s Holden, enforced the follow-on in an attempt to clinch victory and bowl Sri Lanka out in the final hours of the day.

The hosts had some early success when Sri Lankan opener Pathum Nissanka was dismissed for just eight runs.

But from 26 for 1, Sri Lanka recovered well to take the sting out of the game, as Dilan Jalayath (77 not out) and Asalanka (70) effectively ended any hopes of an England win.

The latter was finally removed, but by then Sri Lanka were on 138 for 2 and time was running out.

England claimed one more wicket, George Panayi removing Avishka Fernando, but the away side continued to refuse to buckle.

Sri Lanka went on to reach 182 for 3 before play was drawn to a close and the match declared a draw. (Courtesy Cambridge News)