England U19 won the toss and captain Paul Best elected to bat at Arundel. The home side slipped to 41-4 after 14 overs with pace bowler Sanitha de Mel causing problems for England’s top order batsmen, striking in the second over to have Joe Root caught behind for eight and then picking up the wickets of Jack Manuel and Alex Barrow. A partnership of 51 between Lewis Gregory and Luke Wells created some stability but England continued to lose wickets at regular intervals. Gregory’s impressive innings of 87 helped England to 175 before the Somerset all-rounder was trapped lbw by captain Chathura Peiris in the 50th over to set Sri Lanka 176 for victory.
Despite losing early wickets, Sri Lanka looked in control throughout its innings with Bhanuka Rajapaksa taking 41 balls for his 46 and Kithuruwan Vithanage top scoring with 51. Akshu Fernando joined Rajapaksa at the crease with 51 needed for victory with five wickets in hand and the visitors eased to their target in the 35th over.
All-rounder Lewis Gregory said: “Conditions were helpful for the Sri Lankan bowlers and they used them well making it difficult for us to score. Staying in and posting a reasonable total was never going to be enough to challenge their batsmen although at 125-5, we felt there was a small chance. At 1-1 in the series, it’s important we regroup and come back and play some positive cricket tomorrow.”
The third ODI of the series begins tomorrow (Tuesday) at Arundel.