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International Cricket

Denly’s Test chances in doubt after poor warm-up showing

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

Keaton Jennings and Sam Curran impressed as England made the most of their final day of warm-ups ahead of their Test series against Sri Lanka.

The first day of the second warm-up was completely washed out, so England and a Sri Lanka Board XI agreed to play a non-competitive 50-over game.

Jennings impressed after a poor summer

Opening the batting, Jennings made 45 to help England recover from 28-3. The score was higher than any he made in six Tests this summer, and may have gone a long way towards securing his place for the first Test.

Rory Burns looks certain to play after his brilliant summer in county cricket, and again looked good in making 19, following on from his 47 in the first game.

He was the first of three wickets to fall with the score on 28, with both Joe Denly and Ollie Pope making second-ball ducks. Denly also conceded 43 runs from five wicketless overs, and his chances for the first Test appear to be receding.

Sam Curran’s brisk innings did his case no harm

Ben Stokes made a brisk half-century before Curran caught the eye with an unbeaten 50-ball 48. Ben Foakes also made 19* and Jos Buttler 25 as England finished on 210-6.

The two shared wicket-keeping duties in the second innings, with Buttler keeping for the first 25 overs and Foakes for the second 25, suggesting that Foakes could be in with a chance of selection.

Could Ben Foakes make his Test debut?

England have all but confirmed they will be without Jonny Bairstow for the first Test after he injured his ankle ligaments playing football. He did however have his first proper batting session since his injury, suggesting a second Test return could be on the cards.

With the ball, Jack Leach impressed on his first outing of the tour, bowling Kamindu Mendis and keeping it tight to end with figures of 1-29 from his 13 overs. He also ran out Avishka Fernando off his own bowling. He got through the most work of any English bowler on the day as England tried to make up for lost time after leaving him out of the first warm-up, only to see the designated bowling day of the second warm-up abandoned.

Stuart Broad, Curran, and Olly Stone bowled 18 overs between them, each taking a wicket. Broad was the most economical, conceding 10 runs from his five overs. Curran’s wicket came via an extraordinary piece of fielding from Stokes, who dived low to his right at second slip and palmed the ball up to Joe Root. Stokes also bowled six overs, while Moeen Ali bowled seven for 18 runs, and Root one.

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