Tuesday, 21 February 2017, 08:06pm
Curran brothers bowl England Lions to victory in Kandy
Udara Jayasundera (64no) delayed the Lions as he carried his bat through the second innings, including in a last-wicket stand of 54 with Asitha Fernando.
But after his older brother had done much of the earlier damage, eventually recording figures of three for 35, Sam Curran (three for 21) put himself on a hat-trick at one point and ended up with the last three wickets either side of lunch to bowl Sri Lanka A out for 169.
Keaton Jennings' Lions therefore won the first of two unofficial Tests, having taken eight wickets on the last day of four after their opponents resumed on 41 for two - in pursuit of a highly improbable 365.
Victory came on the back of determined batting down the order in both innings for the Lions - as well as number four Tom Westley's 97 first time round - but it was notable too for a lack of productivity further up the list.
Test opener Haseeb Hameed and Nick Gubbins could muster only six runs in their combined four attempts, and Jennings acknowledged after what he nonetheless described as a "whole team performance" that the tailenders had bailed his team out.
"Those runs we got lower down the order in the first innings were very important in setting up the game, and with Helmy [number 11 Tom Helm] nearly getting a career-best in the second innings as well, they might find themselves opening the batting," he said, with a smile.
"We all know our roles and responsibilities - and as a top-order batter you want to score runs.
"Not everybody can score runs all the time. But you've got to make sure you try and take care of that role, show the grit to get through those tough periods and get runs."
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Tom Curran took three second-innings wickets