Silva and Rajapaksa put Sri Lanka A in the ascendancy against England Lions

England Lions must overcome a first-innings deficit to win their one-off unofficial Test with Sri Lanka A at Scarborough.

Having dismissed the hosts for 299 on the first day, the Sri Lankans reached 329 for eight by the close of the second day, built around a stand of 147 between captain Kaushal Silva and Bhanuka Rajapaksa.

Jade Dernbach and James Harris took three wickets apiece for the Lions, but they trailed by 30 runs at the end of the day, with two wickets in hand for their opponents.

Three-wicket haul: James Harris celebrates the dismissal of Kaushal Silva

Three-wicket haul: James Harris celebrates the dismissal of Kaushal Silva

The Lions players have the chance to impress England selectors ahead of the third Test against India, when places could be available if Graeme Swann or Jonathan Trott fail to recover from injury problems, but it was not their day as the Sri Lankans edged ahead in the four-day contest.

Malinda Warnapura had raced to 22 from 27 balls last night but was far more restrained today before falling for 34, and opening partner Lahiru Thirimanne soon followed for 22 to leave his side 73 for two. That wicket gave Stuart Meaker figures of one for seven from his opening seven-over burst.

Dimuth Karunaratne and Silva took the tourists to 119 for two by lunch but the former fell seven short of a half-century, caught by Jonny Bairstow off the bowling of Harris.

Wicketkeeper Silva pressed on to 61 as he and Rajapaksa put on 81 by tea, Silva's half-century arriving from 87 balls with eight fours.

Putting in a shift: Samit Patel bowls

Putting in a shift: Samit Patel bowls

Rajapaksa followed him to a fifty from 88 balls with eight fours, before he was caught by Lions captain James Taylor off the bowling of Dernbach for 76.

Just 12 runs had been added when Silva followed, caught behind off Harris for 89, to leave the visitors 304 for five, and Dernbach then dismissed Kushal Janith Perera and ran out Sachithra Serasinghe before Harris trapped Kosala Kulasekara leg before.

Dernbach finished the day with innings figures of three for 83, while Harris had three for 69.

Harris remained positive after the conclusion of the day and said: "I'm pleased with my performance today, the ball's coming out well.

'We bowled to a plan, stuck to our guns, and we brought ourselves back into it at the end of the day. If we can bowl them out quickly tomorrow and then post a good total, we'll have a very good chance of winning.'

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