By Adam Skinner
Eastbourne’s Ollie Rayner got off to a promising start in the England Lion’s tour of Sri Lanka in the first warm up match against Sri Lanka A emerging players.
Rayner scored 32 runs as England racked up a first innings score of 201 and then took the wicket of Dushmantha Chameera as they bowled the hosts out for 176.
The second innings yielded another 26 runs off only 25 balls for Rayner - a strike rate of 104 - as he helped England to an impressive total of 383. And he was given more responsibility with the ball as Sri Lanka took the crease for their second innings.
Despite not taking a wicket, a tight 13 overs went for just 45 runs and while Sri Lanka were chasing an improbable 409 run target, England’s attack were unable to take the 10 wickets they needed for victory and the hosts held on for a draw.
Team-mate James Taylor described the England bowlers as “exceptional” after the match and Rayner will have a chance to impress again when they face the emerging Sri Lankan’s on Thursday February 6.
Rayner, who has expressed his desire to break in to the full England set up, can then look forward to a three game series against Sri Lanka A: 12-15 February, Sri Lanka A v England Lions, Palekella International Cricket Stadium
19-22 February, Sri Lanka A v England Lions, Dambulla International Cricket Stadium 26 February – 1 March, Sri Lanka A v England Lions, R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium.