Jamie Smith’s 71-ball century provides England Lions a victory glimmer

Sri Lanka A 332 (Croospulle 128) and 202 for 3 (Madushka 84*, Mendis 67) lead England Lions 405 (Smith 126, Lees 97, Bohannon 54) by 129 runs

Jamie Smith struck a 71-ball century, the quickest in England Lions historical past, to present his facet an out of doors probability of a victory push within the second unofficial Test in opposition to Sri Lanka A in Galle.

Smith’s effort surpassed Luke Wright’s 91-ball hundred in opposition to New Zealand A in 2008-09, and featured 13 fours and eight sixes all advised. By the time he was dismissed for 126 from 82 balls, he had shaped the spine of the Lions’ 405 in 76.4 overs.

Alex Lees, who himself made a 94-ball hundred within the Lions’ warm-up match earlier within the tour, chipped in with 97 from 113 balls, whereas Josh Bohannon made 54 from 62.

Their efforts allowed the Lions to construct a first-innings lead of 73, and although Sri Lanka A responded nicely to achieve 202 for 3 by the shut, with half-centuries from Nishan Madushka and Kamindu Mendis, they did chip out three wickets in that point, together with Mendis for 67 shortly earlier than stumps.

“It is certainly the most entertaining and most enjoyable innings that I have ever played,” Smith mentioned afterwards. “I would say it is the best innings that I have ever played.

“I did not know that it was a file century and I did not go on the market to realize that clearly. When you get in that scenario and also you’re flying alongside you might be simply specializing in being constructive and making an attempt to hit boundaries – hit the ball as far and as laborious as I can.”

The Lions team has been noticeably positive in its approach to batting on this tour, and Smith acknowledged that the success of the Test team under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum had been an inspirational factor.

“You undoubtedly tackle board the type of play that the England workforce are using as a result of that is the type they need to see,” he said. “I at all times knew I had the expertise to play that method however to get out right here and to do it’s actually constructive for me.

“The coaching staff here give you the freedom to go out and play that way. There are no limits as to what you can do. I’m not focusing on whether I get out, it’s about how you can make runs and being positive. That has certainly helped me to make runs here and play the way I did.”

At the age of twenty-two, Smith – who can also be preserving wicket on this journey – could be very a lot one of many coming males on the county circuit, and was picked for his first Lions tour after taking part in his half in Surrey’s County Championship victory final season.

“It is the next step in my career and it has been an opportunity to show my skills and test myself against some really good bowlers,” he mentioned. “It’s good to get in this environment and to play against spin and try and adapt my game to that.

“The pitch is fairly flat however the fantastic thing about us scoring so shortly is that it provides us a possibility and time to bowl them out. We’ll purpose to try this within the morning after which nicely hopefully have a chase. We will not concern chasing any complete.”

Source web site: www.espncricinfo.com

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