Spearhead by a brilliant 120 off 115 balls by Ranuda Somaratne, Sri Lanka pulled off a comprehensive 3-wicket win over England in the first U19 Youth Test match at Chelmsford yesterday. Chasing a target of 273 Sri Lanka was reeling on 48 for 4 when Somarathna , coming in at No.5, took charge of the situation going on to collar the threatening England attack to the tune of 12 boundaries and a six.
The Lankan run chase was rallied by Lahiru Dawalage who struck a run a ball 49 tucked with 8 boundaries in a great sixth-wicket rescue act of lifting the side from the shaky 90’s to 187 that put Sri Lanka within sight of victory.
Also game to the cause was skipper Raveen de Silva who lent the desired solidity upfront having taken strike in dire back to the wall scenario with a resolute 22 off 38 crossing the boundary thrice. It was a truly herculean rounding off by the Lankan young bucks in braving the harsh grind of four days where victory did not come on a platter having to cut through a strong England outfit whose batting proved strong in a 387 first innings total.
It was a splendid offsetting effort by the Lankan bowlers when England looked ominous resuming the final day on a handsome 199 for 3. Applying the breaks was Wanuja Sahan for a superb 4 for 89 and Duvindu Ranatunga 3 for 34 with Raveen coming into measure with 2 for 70.
Breaking the back of the England batting in the clean up of 7 wickets for 93 set the Lankans on the way of meeting the challenging 273 target that was finally reached in a memorable cliff hanging chase.
CHIEF SCORES: ENGLAND 387 & 292 (75.5 Overs) (Ross Whitfield 110, Ben McKinney 56, Matthew Hurst 39, George Bell 29, Wanuja Sahan 4/89, Duvindu Ranatunga 3/34, Raveen de Silva 2/70)
SRI LANKA 407 & 276/7 (57.1 Overs) (Ranuda Somaratne 120, Lahiru Dawalage 49, Raveen de Silva 22, Wanuja Sahan 23, Asitha Wanninayake 22, Vinuja Ranpul 18, Thomas Aspinwall 4/67, Dominic Kelly 2/52, Ben McKinney 1/21).