England were bowled out for 279 today against a Sri Lankan Board President's XI at the Colombo Cricket Club.
It was a creditable total against a talented Sri Lankan side containing eight international players, but at one stage England looked likely to score more than 300 after a 207-run second-wicket partnership between Graeme Hick and Michael Vaughan. After the retirement of Hick, however, England lost eight wickets for 61 runs.
England opened with Michael Vaughan and Mark Alleyne on a damp morning after winning the toss and electing to bat. The makeshift openers, covering for Marcus Trescothick and Alec Stewart, who along with Darren Gough were rested before the first ODI on Friday, started cautiously and in the fourth over Alleyne was bowled by Akalanka Ganegama for two.
Vaughan and Hick then took control of the match. Vaughan adopted an aggressive attitude after the quiet opening overs and was soon shimmying down the wicket to the medium pacers. He enjoyed some early fortune and was dropped twice on 42, but by the end was batting with power and fluency.
Hick adopted his flat track bully approach and looked entirely at home away from the glare of television cameras in this pretty ground. He played serenely for his first fifty, hitting the ball with that characteristic cleanliness. Having passed his fifty, he went into overdrive and smashed 50 runs from just 17 balls. He hit seven sixes in all in his innings, two of which sailed out of the ground.
Just after Hick retired, Vaughan was bowled by Pasan Wanasinghe for 97. The one-day specialists then missed an opportunity to find some form before Friday. Nick Knight was caught behind for one, Andrew Flintoff pushed his way to 18 before being caught in the deep and Mark Ealham was also caught on the boundary for 19.
Akalanka Ganegama, the opening fast bowler, then returned from the Press Box End to bowl Graham Thorpe, who came into bat at number nine, Andrew Caddick and Alan Mullaly, to finished off with four wickets for 33.