No silver lining for England

Tue, 20 Mar 12:40:24 2012

England suffered at the hands of centurion Chamara Silva on day one of their final pre-Test warm-up against a Sri Lankan Development XI.

Having rolled a Board XI for 169 and 119 in their previous tour match, this was England's first real day of toil in the scorching island heat and Silva made them feel it with a superb 163 in his side's imposing 376 for five.

And while they were missing first-choice bowlers James Anderson and Monty Panesar - both rested alongside Alastair Cook - this will have focused English minds on their meeting with Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara in Galle on March 26.

Stuart Broad needed just four balls to register his first wicket of the tour, former Test batsman Malinda Warnapura lifting a full delivery straight to Ravi Bopara at mid-off.

Broad then accounted Dilshan Munaweera in his fifth over, the opener clean bowled for 19 and the hosts reached lunch at 103 for two, with 58 of those from Silva.

It took him until his seventh over but Samit Patel was eventually able to make a much-needed breakthrough when he managed to turn one in from the rough to bowl Thilina Kandamby for 64 and end a 151-run stand that had started to wear England down.

The Development XI went to tea on 223 for three and Silva almost gave away his wicket after the restart when he lobbed Graeme Swann towards long-on, but the ball stopped short and he was soon controlling England's spinners again.

Silva was looking irresistible now, taking successive fours off Patel to reach 150 - one a flourish over cover, the next a deft reverse sweep but he was soon caught at fine-leg hooking.

Swann's rough day continued in the final hour as Angelo Perera (61no) hoisted him for two huge sixes on his way to a care-free half-century.

Kushal Janith also had some fun against a flagging attack, with six fours in his 35, before Broad had him lbw with the first delivery of the new ball.

 

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account