England close on victory after Gidman burst

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The Independent Online

England A will look to close out victory on the final day of the first Test against Sri Lanka A today after establishing a lead of 436 in their second innings in Colombo.

England A will look to close out victory on the final day of the first Test against Sri Lanka A today after establishing a lead of 436 in their second innings in Colombo.

The tourists dismissed their hosts for 228 - 196 behind - after Sri Lanka resumed the day on 179 for 6 only to lose the wicket of Gayan Ramyakumara for 19. Gloucestershire's Alex Gidman finished off the tail by taking 3 for 8 in 3.2 overs.

England were 34 for 2 after the dismissal of Alastair Cook and Ian Bell. But Mike Powell and Owais Shah then removed any distant hope Sri Lanka had of regaining the initiative with a stand of 86.

The Sussex wicket-keeper batsman Matt Prior's 40 not out off 33 balls took England to 240 for 5 and in prime position to drive home their advantage on the last day.

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