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March 15, 2012
England 6 for 0 (Strauss 6*, Cook 0*) trail Sri Lanka Board XI 169 all out (Silva 66, Panesar 5-37) by 163 runs
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Series/Tournaments: England tour of Sri Lanka
England's bowlers experienced a day of mixed fortunes as they began their tour of Sri Lanka with a warm-up match against a Sri Lanka Board XI in Colombo.
While Stuart Broad was forced to pull out of the game shortly before the start following an injury scare, James Anderson and Monty Panesar adapted seamlessly to the heat and humidity to share nine wickets between them and dismiss the hosts for 169 shortly after tea on the first day.
Broad tripped over the boundary rope during fielding practice and sprained his left ankle. The injury is not thought to be serious and England have not, at this stage, thought it necessary to send him for a scan. Broad had been named in the England XI, but Steven Finn replaced him in the team.
An ECB spokesman said: "England medical staff will review the injury overnight and Stuart will undergo ice treatment in the meantime."
Anderson, by contrast, was quickly into his stride. He claimed the first four wickets to fall, reducing the Board XI to 67 for four, and winning reward for a well-controlled spell.
Panesar did not strike until his 15th over, but then produced a spell of five for 14 as the Board XI lost their last six wickets for the addition of just 37 runs, collapsing from 132 for four.
"It's nice to get some overs under my belt out there and get used to the conditions and obviously the heat," Panesar said. It's slightly different from UAE. I was pleased bowling a lot of maidens out here. Especially on a first day pitch you bowl slightly different as a spinner, more of a holding role and you are obviously helping the seamers as well so that they can bowl 4-5 over spells because it's very hot.
"When you are playing on a first day pitch you look to attack, you look to bowl disciplined and from there you look to take wickets. Luckily it brought a few wickets for me today. You've got to be disciplined with the lines but you should also not look to over attack. It's a place where you can see a couple of balls turn quite big and you want to attack and get wickets. But they are very good attacking players so you just got to hold in there and create pressure and not get carried away if the wicket does something. You've got to keep everything simple."
The only meaningful resistance came during a fifth-wicket partnership of 65 between Ashen Silva and Sachithra Serasinghe. Silva, a 21-year-old opener from Colombo, compiled a patient half-century before Finn induced an edge to the wicketkeeper.
England gave some indication of their plans ahead of the two-Test series by selecting Ravi Bopara ahead of Samit Patel for the No. 6 position. Bopara came on as first-change bowler, but could not maintain the pressure applied by his colleagues as he struggled with over-stepping.
The match is the first of two warm-up games before the Test series begins on March 26.
While England will be encouraged by the performance of their bowlers, they will also be aware that it was not the bowlers who were the problem in the UAE. England succumbed to a 3-0 series defeat against Pakistan with the batsmen unable to adapt to the conditions or Pakistan's spin attack.
England's openers faced few problems on the first day of this game. Having negotiated seven balls without any undue difficulty, bad light forced an early finish.
Edited by Alan Gardner
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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