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Root earns U19s share of spoils

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Joe Root

Joe Root was the batting mainstay for England Under-19s as they compiled a winning total of 164 for five at Chester-le-Street

Joe Root and Lewis Gregory stroked England Under-19s to a series-levelling 46-run win over Sri Lanka in the second Twenty20 at the Emirates Durham ICG.

After being put in by the tourists, England kept wickets in hand throughout their innings and were given a flying start by Jack Manuel’s 31 from 18 balls.

When the Worcestershire batsmen went in the fifth over, Root and Gregory shared a match-winning stand of 103 in 12.1 overs.

Gregory, the Somerset all-rounder, was eventually out for a 36-ball 55, but Root carried his bat for 59 and Ateeq Javid contributed a quick 12 to take England to 164 for five.

Matt Dunn snared Ramith Rambukwella with the second ball of Sri Lanka’s reply, and from there England looked likely winners.

However, Sri Lanka retained hope as long as Kithuruwan Vithanage and Charith Ruchiranga were together.

Vithanage, in a brave assault worth 48, struck six fours and three sixes inside the first seven overs to take Sri Lanka to 63 for two.

But James Thorpe, born in Geneva but nurtured in Sussex, bowled him and took two other wickets to knock the stuffing out of the chase. Root also claimed miserly figures of 3-17 with his off-spin as Sri Lanka were eventually bowled out for 118.

ECB performance director David Parsons said: "The team learnt some valuable lessons from the first match and it was good to see them respond and produce a much better batting performance today, including a record second-wicket partnership between Joe Root and Lewis Gregory.

"This sets up a fascinating one-day series and the team can prepare for it knowing that they are capable of beating Sri Lanka, but they will need to consistently produce some of their very best cricket to win the series."

The first of five one-day internationals takes place at Fenners, Cambridge on Saturday.

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