Opener Zak Crawley fell just short of a century as England’s batting line-up stepped up Test preparations on the final day of their warm-up match against a Sri Lanka Cricket Board XI in Katunayake.
Crawley, who hit a fluent 43 on day one, was in even better touch in the tourists’ second innings, before being dismissed for 91 with the first ball after lunch.
The 22-year-old made 103 in a warm-up match at Whangarei in November and scored 17 boundaries as he closed in on repeating that feat, driving emphatically and shaping up well against spin. The break in play also brought a break in concentration, though, and he poked Duvindu Tillakaratne to silly mid-off straight after the restart.
Zak Crawley prepares to wander out on 91no....— Rory Dollard (@thervd) March 9, 2020
Gets out first ball after lunch.
Excellent knock, though. Heâs shaping up nicely for Galle pic.twitter.com/ESfDfNDKfF
England had resumed on their overnight score of 39 for one and added another 131 runs for the loss of two wickets in a positive first session, posting 170 for three at lunch.
Joe Denly was first to go for 27, brilliantly caught one-handed by Priyamal Perera at second slip, and Ben Stokes raced to 43 in in just 42 balls before holing out chasing a fifth successive boundary.
Stokes had been promoted to number four having faced just five deliveries on Saturday and found his feet quickly, accelerating sharply when he dispatched the first four balls of a Tillakaratne over to the ropes.
He fell to the fifth, looking to plant it over long-off but falling well short.