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July 18, 2008
Indians 4 for 1 trail Sri Lanka Board XI 224 (Kandamby 84, Chamara Silva 68, Kumble 3-30) by 220 runs
India's bowlers, several of whom are returning to the Test squad after breaks due to injury, form or discipline, had a satisfactory start to the tour of Sri Lanka, dismissing the Board XI for 224 at the Nondescripts Cricket Club in Colombo.
Zaheer Khan, who hasn't played for India since the tour of Australia due to an ankle injury, struck twice with the new ball; Harbhajan Singh, returning from a disciplinary ban, took a brace of wickets; while Test captain Anil Kumble slotted back into the side with 3 for 30. Ishant Sharma and Munaf Patel, who was not picked after the IPL, took a wicket apiece. Dinesh Karthik, standing-in for Mahendra Singh Dhoni for this series, also held three catches.
The Sri Lanka Board XI top order struggled, slipping to 82 for 4 after the team had won the toss. Upul Tharanga, who hasn't played a Test since December 2007, failed to make use of his opportunity. He was trapped lbw by Zaheer for 6.
The danger of a collapse was averted by Thilina Kandamby, whose last international appearance was in an ODI in Lahore in October 2004, and Chamara Silva. Kandamby struck 11 fours during his 84, and added 100 for the fifth wicket with Silva, before he was caught by Karthik off Patel. Silva was dismissed by Harbhajan with the score on 214 and the innings folded swiftly thereafter.
The Indian openers had to negotiate a short period before stumps but Gautam Gambhir failed to see out the day. He was caught by Jehan Mubarak off Dilhara Fernando for 4, leaving India trailing by 220 runs with nine wickets in hand.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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