Indian bowlers put up an impressive performance to take the visitors within sniffing distance of a win before the last-wicket pair of Ramesh Mendis and Lakshan Jayasinghe stood firm to manage a draw for Sri Lanka in the first Youth Test (under-19) here on Friday.

Resuming its innings at 235 for five, Sri Lanka needed another 119 runs to avoid the follow-on.

But the Indian pace duo of Atul Singh (three for 39) and Chama Milind (two for 41) had other plans as the Lankans lost their last five wickets for just 21 runs to enforce the follow-on.

The Indian bowlers came tantalisingly close to victory before Mendis (22 not out) and Jayasinghe (eight not out) spoiled the visitors’ party.

With Sri Lanka down at 241 for nine, still needing six more runs to avoid an innings defeat, the last-wicket pair of Mendis and Jayasinghe saw off 55 balls to save the match.

The second and final Test of the series will be played in Welagedara Stadium, Kurunegala from July 29 to August 1.

The scores: India u-19 503 for seven decl. in 127 overs drew with Sri Lanka u-19 256 and 264 for nine in 92 overs (Sadeera Samarawickrama 88, Thilaksha Sumanasiri 62). — PTI

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