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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 March, 2005, 11:54 GMT
England A dominate in Sri Lanka
Tour match, Colombo, day two: (stumps)
England A: 424 v Sri Lanka A: 179-6

Matt Prior
Prior recently hit a hundred and two fifties against the UAE

Lancashire seamer Sajid Mahmood claimed three wickets as England A continued their dominance over Sri Lanka A, who closed 245 behind at 179-6 on day two.

David Harrison made the first breakthrough for the tourists in the second over, before Mahmood captured his three victims within six overs.

Earlier skipper Ian Bell went on to 144 as his team extended their first innings total to 424.

Matt Prior maintained his run of good form with an unbeaten 76.

The Sussex wicket-keeper hit 10 fours before running out of partners as leg-spinner Malinga Bandara took 5-96.

"I thought Bell's innings was fantastic. He was a man on a mission to make a big score and did just that," said coach Rod Marsh.

"Matthew just carried on from where he left off in Sharjah. I thought he played outstandingly well apart from a couple of little concentration lapses but nothing serious.

"Generally speaking his timing, the way he hit the ball and found the gaps was really good."

England A had resumed on 272-4, with Bell on 128 not out.

But his six and quarter hour innings, which featured two sixes and 12 boundaries, came to an end on 144 when he was bowled by seamer Nadika Ranjith.

Next to go was night-watchman Harrison for 20, but Gloucestershire's Alex Gidman helped Prior add 56 in 13 overs for the seventh wicket before he was caught behind off Bandara.

Graeme Swann lasted only two deliveries and Sajid Mahmood followed for 14, the fourth catch of the innings taken by Anushka Polonowita.

Mahmood stayed long enough to see Prior past his half century, but last man Jon Lewis could not produce similar resistance as Bandara found a way through his defence to bowl him for nought.

Bowling second change, Mahmood was on the expensive side, his nine overs costing 41 runs, but atoned with key wickets.

Left-hander Avishka Gunawardene, who has appeared regularly at both Test and one-day international level, opened the innings and made 40 from 56 balls with four fours and a six before edging to the keeper.

Following his five-wicket haul, Bandara dominated an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 49, smashing six fours in his 30 not out from 40 balls as the home side finished the day with some defiance.

Bell century inspires England A
07 Mar 05 |  Cricket
Duo guide England A to easy win
05 Mar 05 |  England
Prior leads England A to victory
27 Feb 05 |  Cricket
England A begin tour with a win
26 Feb 05 |  Cricket
Opportunity knocks for A team
23 Feb 05 |  England

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