London: England Lions captain James Taylor maintained his bid for a place in next week's third Test squad against India after just falling short of a hundred in the drawn match with Sri Lanka A at Scarborough on Friday.
Taylor has been spoken of as a possible replacement for Jonathan Trott if the batsman fails to recover in time from a shoulder injury suffered fielding in the second Test at Trent Bridge, where England won by 319 runs to go 2-0 up in the four-match series, for the third Test starting at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old Leicestershire right-hander followed his first innings 76 with a fluent 98 before he was bowled by Sachithra Serasinghe.
Taylor's dismissal ended a 146-run stand with Yorkshire wicketkeeper-batsman Jonathan Bairstow, who made 109 not out from 133 balls. That enabled the Lions to declare at 415 for five and set the tourists a notional victory target of 326 from 43 overs.
The Sri Lankans did not attempt to run down the target and finished on 127 for none on the final day of this four-day match. "To play for England Lions is a great privilege and to score runs is very pleasing, particularly here at Scarborough," Bairstow said afterwards.
"It was important that James Taylor and I put in a solid performance today to give us a big enough lead and it was a shame that James didn't quite get his hundred," added Bairstow, the son of former Yorkshire and England wicketkeeper David Bairstow.
"I'm back with Yorkshire now for the next few days before the one-day series next week which by the looks of this Sri Lankan side will be a competitive series."
The first match in the one-day series between the England Lions and Sri Lanka A is due to be played at Worcester on August 12. England will name their third Test squad on Saturday.