Cricket: England refuse to gamble

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The Independent Online
England A's opening unofficial "Test" stuttered to a disappointing draw here yesterday after both sides refused to take the initiative and push for victory on the final day.

Allowed all but 11 overs of the day to set up a potentially exciting run-chase following Sri Lanka's early declaration, England instead opted for a cautious approach and batted their opponents out of the match.

Starting their second innings 17 runs ahead after the Sri Lanka A captain, Marvan Atapattu, called a halt to their tail-end defiance on 368 for 9, the tourists were clearly as determined to avoid defeat as they were to press for victory and instead used the time for batting practice. The second four-day unofficial "Test" starts in Matara on Friday.

- Myles Hodgson, Kurunegala

Final day of four; England A won toss

ENGLAND A - First Innings 385 (M A Ealham 87, N V Knight 85, B C Hollioake 67, D L Maddy 50).

SRI LANKA A - First Innings

(Overnight: 341 for 8)

N Villaverayan not out 50

D Hettiarachi b Cosker 10

S Perera not out 10

Extras (b7, lb17, w1, nb16) 41

Total (for 9, 128 overs) 368

Fall: 1-14, 2-43, 3-126, 4-183, 5-254, 6-280, 7-289, 8-296, 9-354.

Bowling: Hollioake 24-5-59-0; Hutchison 17-6-43-3; Ormond 16-2-67-2; Giles 39-12-73-0; Cosker 17-1-52-2; Ealham 15-4-50-2.

ENGLAND A - Second Innings

S P James c Nawaz b Samaraweera 16

*N V Knight c & b Chandana 45

D L Maddy c de Silva b Chandana 56

M A Ealham not out 25

A Flintoff not out 0

Extras (lb5, nb7) 12

Total (for 3, 67 overs) 154

Fall: 1-36, 2-97, 3-154.

Did not bat: B C Hollioake, A F Giles, C M W Read, D A Cosker, J Ormond, P M Hutchison.

Bowling: Villaverayan 7-2-19-0; Perera 9-1-21-0; Samaraweera 18-2-44- 1; Hettiarachi 11-3-25-0; Chandana 17-5-33-2; Jayawardene 5-0-7-0.

MATCH DRAWN

Umpires: G Pushparajah and S D S Dissanayake.

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