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Onions too strong for Sri Lanka A

Graham Onions led the way with four wickets as England Lions continued to assert their dominance over Sri Lanka A.

The Lions won the first 'Test' of the three-game series and quickly picked up where they left off as the second got under way today.

Onions was the star, picking up 4-20 as the home side closed on 281 for nine after choosing to bat.

The Durham paceman, a late addition to the squad when his county team-mate Mark Wood was forced him with a side injury, took just two wickets in the opening encounter.

That was Onions' first game for a month, and he looked decidedly better from the off today when quickly accounting for Sri Lanka skipper Upul Tharanga, who feathered behind.

Dimuth Karunaratne and Madawa Warnapura rebuilt amid a tight opening spell from Onions, who was proving deadly accurate.

However, having each passed 30, they were unable to kick on, the latter falling to a sharp caught-and-bowled take by Scott Borthwick and the former eventually succumbing to Onions.

Another good home riposte came thereafter, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Roshen Silva putting on 77.

Both passed 50 but, again, Sri Lanka were left to rue a batsman’s failure to go on beyond three figures.

It was the wicket of Rajapaksa, who hit Simon Kerrigan straight to Onions in the deep for 68, that opened the door for Enland.

Borthwick had Chaturanga de Silva taken by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow for 20 and Liam Plunkett, who bowled some nasty short deliveries, finally saw his approach bring just reward when Niroshan Dickwella fell likewise.

Onions then returned to do further damage, getting rid of Tharindu Kaushal – who had hit 30 – and Chatura Randunu.

And a fine day for the tourists was wrapped up by skipper Chris Woakes, who grabbed his first when having top-scorer Silva take behind for 73.