Bairstow to the fore in Lions draw
Jonny Bairstow and James Taylor both shone with the bat but England Lions were forced to settle for a draw in their tour match with Sri Lanka A at Scarborough.
Taylor fell two runs short of a deserved century, while Bairstow struck 109 not out to help set the tourists 326 for victory on the final afternoon after the Lions had declared on 415 for five.
Sachithra Senanayake and Sachithra Serasinghe were the only two bowlers to break through, finishing with 3-160 and 2-75 respectively.
After toiling in the field for large spells, Sri Lanka showed their resolve as Malinda Warnapura contributed an unbeaten 79 to help steer them to 127 without loss at the close and ensure the spoils were shared.
Kaushal Silva’s side made an ideal start to proceedings this morning as Craig Kieswetter was caught behind off Senanayake in the 10th over after adding eight to his overnight score of 24.
Bairstow joined captain Taylor and the pair played with confidence to take the Lions into a commanding position at lunch.
Bairstow played fluently after the break, moving to 50 off 70 balls, with Taylor adopting a more cautious approach as he approached his century.
The 21-year-old Leicestershire batsman fell just short of a ton when he was bowled by Serasinghe for 98 from 168 deliveries to end a partnership of 146 for the fifth wicket.
Bairstow continued his assault and was handily supported by 27 off 28 balls from Samit Patel. Bairstow reached the third first-class century of his career shortly before the Lions declared.
Despite the unlikely target, Sri Lanka opener Warnapura made an aggressive unbeaten 79 from 109 balls supported by Lahiru Thirimanne, who contributed 36 before the umpires called an end to proceedings at 5.30pm.
Bairstow said: "To play for England Lions is a great privilege and to score runs is very pleasing, particularly here at Scarborough.
“It was important that James Taylor and I put in a solid performance today to give us a big enough lead and it was a shame that James didn't quite get his hundred.
“I'm back with Yorkshire now for the next few days before the one-day series next week which by the looks of this Sri Lankan side will be a competitive series."
The one-day series between England Lions and Sri Lanka A begins on Friday August 12 at New Road.
Seven members of the current Lions squad have been selected for the three-match one-day series along with the following five players:
Danny Briggs (Hampshire)
Steven Finn (Middlesex)
Chris Nash (Sussex)
Ben Stokes (Durham)
Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)