Alex Hales and Jason Roy on form as England Lions beat Sri Lanka A
Last Updated: 06/08/14 8:14pm
Alex Hales celebrates his century at Taunton
Alex Hales and Jason Roy shone with the bat as England Lions clinched a 51-run victory over Sri Lanka A in the second match of the Tri-Series at Taunton.
Hales smashed a century and Roy blasted five sixes in an over as the Lions' total of 339-5 proved far too much for the tourists to chase down.
Sri Lanka A were bowled out for 288 in reply. They did raise faint hopes of a successful chase by reaching 160-2 in the 30th over before a middle-order collapse swung the match firmly back in the Lions' favour.
Dinesh Chandimal (73) and Danushka Gunathilaka (57) laid down solid foundations before the former was removed by Ravi Bopara, with Ravi Patel (3-71), Boyd Rankin and Harry Gurney also taking wickets within the next nine overs to take the sting out of the chase.
Ramith Rambukwella hit two late sixes but by that point the contest was already over and Sri Lanka A were dismissed with one over remaining.
Earlier Hales had lost opening partner James Vince (10) fairly early on but he was then involved in a fine second-wicket partnership with experienced one-day campaigner Bopara.
The Nottinghamshire opener only hit 13 boundaries, none of them sixes, but by the time he fell just a run after reaching his hundred, England Lions were closing on 200 and applauding a stand of 165.
Bopara fell for 74, a typically-belligerent knock that included only four fours, to briefly leave the Lions in danger of not setting the target that had seemed likely at the start of Lahiru Gamage's two-wicket over.
But Roy had designs on making quick runs from the outset, hitting 15 off a Seekkuge Prasanna over.
And that was just the first course for the big-hitting Surrey star who made hay in the 41st over, smashing the first four balls Sachith Pathirana delivered for maximums before a disappointing dot ball and then a fifth six off the final ball.
Roy fell soon after for 51 off 25 balls but skipper James Taylor and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow ensured the run-rate would not drop too much.
Taylor eventually fell for 31 off 24 balls but Bairstow still had time to go to 50, which came off 30 balls and included five fours and two sixes as the home side closed their innings in a very strong position.