sport

Plunkett fires Lions into lead

A century from Madawa Warnapura was not enough to prevent England Lions wrapping up a 167-run win over Sri Lanka A in Pallekele.

Liam Plunkett starred on the final day with three wickets as the Lions defied the rallying efforts of centurion Warnapura and the Sri Lankan tail to take go 1-0 ahead.

After England captain Chris Woakes and Scott Borthwick had put them in the driving seat on Friday, the Lions returned to turn the screw and secure victory on day four.

Woakes, who selflessly declared eight runs short of a century, and Borthwick (64) put on a stand of 155 as the Lions set Sri Lanka an improbable target of 479.

The home team then lost both openers with only four runs on the board but recovered to 164-5 at stumps on the penultimate day.

Ishan Jayaratne added just a single run in the opening session before becoming the first victim of the morning; run out after clever work from Yorkshire seamer Plunkett.

Dhammika Prasad reached only 10 before then holing out to James Taylor off the bowling of Tymal Mills.

Roshen Silva then came to the crease and was able to provide able support to Warnapura as the 25-year-old reached three figures, giving Sri Lanka's second string a glimmer of belief.

Yet their hopes were extinguished when Warnapura was caught behind by Jonathan Bairstow off the bowling of Plunkett for 108, with the Sri Lanka lower order unable to provide the heroics required to land an unexpected result.

Tharindu Kaushal was trapped lbw by Moeen Ali for a second-ball duck and Vishwa Fernando could only add one before being bowled by Plunkett, who ended with figures of 3-51.

Roshen was left 63 not out and but the Sri Lanka A total of 311 was not enough to prevent the Lions drawing first blood, with two matches remaining.