Sri Lanka clinched the Royal London U19 One-Day Series with one match to spare after a dramatic one-wicket victory at Chelmsford on Saturday.
The tourists looked in cruise control at 229 for three chasing England’s 315 for eight with opener Aviskha Fernando scoring a superb 117, but his dismissal started a collapse in the Sri Lanka ranks.
Shammu Ashan, who scored an unbeaten 60 in the first game at Wormsley, saw the tourists home with a composed knock of 77 from 75 balls.
England’s total was largely dominated by three contributions with George Hankins, George Bartlett and Tom Moores being the main run-scorers. Hankins contributed 98, Bartlett 85 and Moores 70.
Quickfire runs in the latter stages came from Zen Malik and Ollie Pope allowed England to set a difficult target.
But Sri Lanka made a good start to their reply, with an opening stand of 67 inside nine overs before Dilan Jayalath was caught on the square leg boundary by Malik for 41 from 34 balls.
That was the first of three boundary catches by Malik, and Bess bowled well to concede only 36 in his 10 overs. But England could not clinch the final wicket for victory and Sri Lanka stumbled across the line with five balls to spare.