Rafiq and Javid repair damage
Captain Azeem Rafiq and Ateeq Javid shared an unbroken 132-run sixth-wicket stand to alleviate a tricky position for England Under-19s on day two at Northampton.
Rafiq and Javid, who closed unbeaten on 73 and 79 respectively, came together with the hosts faltering at 123 for five in reply to Sri Lanka’s 287 all out.
However, they saw out the remaining 30.3 overs of the 68 possible today to leave their side 32 behind and with renewed hope of forcing victory in this first youth Test of two.
Resuming on 14 without loss, openers Joe Root and Daniel Bell-Drummond added a steady 63 further runs.
Bell-Drummond became the first of Charith Jayampathi’s three victims, for 32, in two overs. Root perished on 40 in the left-arm seamer’s next over when Luke Wells went first ball.
That left England 78 for three, which became 123 for five, when fellow left-armer Chathura Peiris trapped Lewis Gregory in front for 13 and had Jack Maunel caught behind next ball.
However, Rafiq and Javid resisted further losses, the former striking 12 fours from 101 balls and the latter seven in 130 deliveries.