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Wells and Manuel boost England

Luke Wells

Luke Wells struck an important fifty to aid England's victory chances at Scarborough

Half-centuries from Luke Wells and Jack Manuel on day two at Scarborough gave England Under-19s hope of securing a series-levelling win.

Requiring victory to draw the two-match rubber against their Sri Lanka counterparts, Wells and Manuel helped the hosts to 223 for six at stumps in reply to the tourists’ first-innings 317.

Left-arm seamer Chathura Peiris picked up four wickets, the last of which was Manuel late in the day.

England took just 4.3 overs to polish off Sri Lanka’s last two wickets this morning, as Jacob Ball had Charith Jayampathi caught for for 31 and David Payne bowled Nadeera Rajaguru for 22.

The hosts suffered a double blow in the seventh over of their reply as Peiris trapped Daniel Bell-Drummond in front and had Lewis Gregory caught.

Opener Joe Root looked to be finding his feet when Jayampathi, another left-arm seamer, had him lbw for 24.

Wells and Ateeq Javid prospered with a 78-run alliance, but that ended too soon for England’s liking when Peiris bowled Javid for 33.

Off-spinner Rumesh Buddika proved tricky get away and the pressure he created told when he breached Wells’ defences for 54, including eight fours.

Manuel progressed smoothly but, when England needed him to press on, was caught on 57 after striking six fours and two maximums.

New captain Paul Best batted resolutely to reach 27 from 116 balls by stumps, with Adam Ball unbeaten on one.