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Under-19s show their spirit

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England Under-19s staged a courageous fightback on the second day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle to leave the match evenly poised.

The tourists struggled to make an impact with the ball on day one as Sri Lanka reached 376 for four. However, they bounced back in stunning fashion today, claiming the remaining six wickets for 39 runs.

England then reached the close on 249 for four, trailing by 166, with Lewis Gregory making 63 and Ben Foakes adding 46.

Tom Milnes claimed the first two wickets to fall this morning. Duleeka Thissakuttige departed to the third ball of the day without adding to his overnight 13 and Lasith Aberathne followed for four soon after.

Chathuranga Kumara was run out by Daniel Bell-Drummond for seven before Kaushalya Gajasinghe, the last of the recognised batsmen, became Shiv Thakor’s first victim.

Gregory, who finished with 3-54 from 16 overs, then wrapped up the tail with the dismissals of Sanitha de Mel and Saranga Rajaguru.

England got off to a solid start in reply as Sam Wood and Bell-Drummond put on 66 for the first wicket. However, both openers failed to go on to a big score as they fell for 25 and 35 respectively.

A partnership of 98 between Foakes and Gregory put England back on track, the former falling four runs short of a half-century when he was bowled by Maduka Liyanapathiranage.

Gregory did manage to pass 50, although his innings was brought to an end shortly before stumps when he was caught by Bhanuka Rajapaksa off Rajaguru.

Ateeq Javid and Adam Rossington saw England through to the close and will resume tomorrow on 23 and 27 respectively.

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