Ball performs well on his home ground but England U19’s lose

Thursday 12th August 2010

England Under 19“s v Sri Lanka Under 19“s
Fourth One-Day International
St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury

Sri Lanka Under 19’s won by 11 runs

Sri Lanka: 221 all out, 49.1 overs
Rambukwella 68, Vithanage 45, Gunathilleke 26
Payne 3-46, Best 2-35, Javid 1-13

England: 210 all out, 49 overs
Wells 47, Root 25, Javid 25
Jayarathne 3-43, Rajapaksa 2-29, Buddika 2-44

The St Lawrence faithful enjoyed a glimpse of Kent’s cricketing future as Adam Ball (pictured) played his part in an enthralling under 19 ODI at Canterbury, where the Sri Lankans overcame their England counterparts by 11 runs. The win now puts them 2-1 up in the five match series with one to play.

Ball, who signed his first professional contract with Kent at the beginning of the current campaign, chipped in with 1-19, two catches and a quickfire 17, but in the end his efforts were all in vain, as the three lions failed to chase down 222 and they must now win the second of the St Lawrence double header tomorrow to level the series.

The tourists won the toss and, after deciding to bat in gloomy conditions, stuttered early on as England“s new ball duo of Matt Dunn and David Payne collected a wicket apiece in their first spells to reduce the Sri Lankans to 28 for two. Rumesh Buddika was first to go when left-armer Payne had him caught by Dunn for nine. Dunn then got himself in on the act as he dismissed Bhanuka Rajapaksa for five as Ball took a smart catch.

Despite the early blows, a fine third wicket stand of 94 between Ramith Rambukwella and Kithuruwan Vithanage steadied the ship for Sri Lanka before Rambukwella fell for a sprightly 68 off 81 balls as English skipper Paul Best took the first wicket of a wily spell of left-arm spin bowling. The visitors were still well-set at 122 for three in the 29th over, but from then on the Sri Lankans struggled to break away from England“s shackles. Tidy ten-over spells from Best (2-35) and Luke Wells – son of former Kent batsman Alan Wells – 0-35, really put the brakes on the tourists. Vithanage was trapped in front by Best for 45, before wicket-keeper batsman Denuwan Rajakaruna was run-out for 14 to leave Sri Lanka on 162 for five with ten overs remaining.

The wickets continued to tumble as Payne returned to claim two more, Dhanushka Gunathilleke for 26 and captain Chathura Peiris for five as Ball claimed his second catch of the innings. In the end it was down the Sri Lankan tail to scrape together enough runs to give them something to bowl at as they were all-out for 221. Ball wrapped up proceedings by clean bowling Nadeera Rajaguru for two as he finished with 1-19 off 3.1 overs to go alongside his two catches. Alongside Best, Gloucestershire“s Payne was the pick of the England attack; his 3-46 helped restrict their opponents to a very gettable target.

England“s openers, Joe Root and Jack Manuel, got the chase off to a decent start before the latter was bowled by Peiris for 17 in the seventh over to leave the home side on 36 for one. Lewis Gregory joined Root at the crease as the pair continued to build a solid platform. After eleven overs they reached 45 for one with Yorkshire right-hander Root unbeaten on 16. However, much like in the Sri Lankan innings, batting didn“t get any easier and soon England were two down when Gregory was bowled by Bhanuka Rajapaksa for seven. Two soon became three when Root, the mainstay of the innings, fell for 26 – trapped leg before by the same bowler as England struggled to 59 for three, meaning a close encounter was on the cards.

Many English batsmen made starts but failed to go on to see them through to the end. Alex Barrow (25) and Ateeq Javid (25) looked in fine form but Sri Lanka took wickets regularly. 17 year-old Ball, batting at seven, made a breezy 17, including one maximum, before he was caught off the bowling of Jayarathne. Wells scored 47 but when he became Jayarathne’s second victim England were in trouble on 182-7, requiring 40 off the final 31 balls of an enthralling encounter. Captain Best and keeper Adam Rouse added 17 before the gloveman was run-out for 13, now it came down to 23 off 18 balls. Things got tougher two balls later when Payne fell for a golden duck; all hopes now pinned on Best. Unfortunately, in the final ball of the 49th over, the Warwickshire youngster was caught off the bowling of Peiris for 15 as his side fell agonisingly short of their victory target. Jayarathne excelled with the ball for Sri Lanka; taking 3-43. Peiris, Rajapaksa, and Buddika all chipped in with two wickets apiece as the Sri Lankans took a series lead with just one to play, at Canterbury, on Friday.