England win by one wicket
Ashley Giles guided England A to a thrilling finale to seal a one-wicket victory in the second unofficial Test in Matara yesterday.
England had been set a victory target of 192 in 49 overs, and the Warwickshire left-armer arrived with 33 runs needed, nine overs remaining nine overs and three wickets in hand. Giles kept his composure until the finish, keeping the strike away from Dean Cosker to ensure England could not lose before handing the limelight to an unlikely hero, Paul Hutchison, to hit the winning run.
Giles intelligently pushed singles and was supported for four overs by Cosker, who was bowled by Arshad Juniad with England needing a further nine from two overs. Seven of them came off Niroshan Bandartilleke's penultimate over, and Giles pushed a single off the first delivery of Juniad's final over to make the scores level.
Hutchison, whose highest first-class score is 15, survived a blatant show of gamesmanship, with Juniad stopping three times in his run-up to try to unsettle the batsman, which he succeeded in doing as the Yorkshireman played and missed at his next ball. But with three deliveries remaining, Hutchison swept, the only time has attempted such a shot in first-class cricket, past the close fielders to start the tourists' celebrations.
The England A captain, Nick Knight, said: "It was one of those situations where Hutch just had to get a run from somewhere. I don't know if that was the first sweep he has ever made but, if it is, it was certainly his best one - I don't think we will hear the end of it."
Final day of four; Sri Lanka A won toss
SRI LANKA A - First Innings 171.
ENGLAND A - First Innings 260 (B C Hollioake 103).
SRI LANKA A - Second Innings
(Overnight: 196 for 3)
P B Dassanayake lbw b Hollioake 56
N Nawaz c Nash b Hollioake 24
M C Mendis b Brown 11
I De Seram c Brown b Cosker 29
H Boteju c Knight b Giles 9
N Bandartilleke b Hollioake 12
R Perera not out 0
Extras (b13, lb5, nb2) 20
Total (for 9, 128.4 overs) 280
Fall: 1-57, 2-139, 3-164, 4-208, 5-217, 6-242, 7-260, 8-280, 9-280.
Did not bat: A Juniad.
Bowling: Hutchison 11-5-26-0; Hollioake 23.4-8-67-3; Giles 44-18-61-3; Brown 10-4-19-1; Cosker 32-7-75-2; Ealham 3-0-9-0; Maddy 5-1-5-0.
ENGLAND A - Second Innings
S P James c Jayawardene b Perera 4
N V Knight c & b Jayawardene 12
D L Maddy c & b Jayawardene 33
M A Ealham b Bandartilleke 1
D J G Sales b Juniad 45
B C Hollioake st Dassanayake b Bandartilleke 45
D C Nash lbw b Juniad 6
D R Brown c Bandartilleke b Juniad 9
A F Giles not out 20
D A Cosker b Juniad 8
P M Hutchison not out 2
Extras (b2, lb4, nb1) 7
Total (for 9, 48.4 overs) 192
Fall: 1-4, 2-36, 3-43, 4-51, 5-137, 6-149, 7-159, 8-162, 9-183.
Bowling: Perera 3-0-15-1; Boteju 5-2-5-0; Bandartilleke 20-0-82-2; Jayawardene 10-1-38-2; Arnold 3-0-18-0; Juniad 7.4-0-28-4.
Umpires: R N Sirasona and T H Wijewardena.
ENGLAND A WON BY ONE WICKET
- Myles Hodgson, MataraReuse content