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Sri Lanka U19 claim series lead

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Luke Wells

Luke Wells hit a defiant 47, but it proved insufficient to rouse England Under-19s against Sri Lanka, who take a series lead

Sri Lanka Under-19s produced an excellent all-round performance to earn an 11-run victory at Canterbury in the fourth one-day international with their England counterparts.

Ramith Rambukwella hit 68 for the tourists as the tourists set England 222 to win - a target they would have been confident of attaining.

However, it did not go to plan for the hosts as they lost wickets at regular intervals and left themselves too much to do.

The victory gives Sri Lanka a 2-1 lead in the series, meaning they are guaranteed at least a share of the spoils going into tomorrow's final match at the same venue.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, the tourists made a poor start as they were reduced to 28 for two in the seventh over.

First, David Payne accounted for Rumesh Buddika, before Matt Dunn had all-rounder Bhanuka Rajapaksa caught by Adam Ball.

Sri Lanka rebuilt thereafter, though, as opener Rambukwella combined with Kithuruwan Vithanage, who made 45, in a 94-run third-wicket partnership.

Determined to get back into the match, England responded well as Paul Best ended the former’s 81-ball innings which included nine fours and one six.

Spurred on by the wicket, the hosts took control from then on, taking frequent wickets with Dhanushka Gunathilleke’s 26 proving the only real resistance.

Going into the reply, England openers Jack Manuel and Joe Root got their run chase off to an excellent start, reaching a healthy 36 without loss after six overs.

However, when Manuel departed for 17, it sparked a collapse which saw England slip to 59 for three.

Root was dismissed leg before to a Rajapaksa in-dipper for 26, before Lewis Gregory was bowled by the same bowler a couple of overs later.

Luke Wells hit a composed 58-ball 47 which, despite wickets tumbling at the other end, gave the hosts a good chance.

However, when he departed England needed 40 from the last 30 deliveries which proved too much for the lower order as Sri Lanka saw the game out.

Tomorrow's final match is broadcast live on Sky Sports 1.

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