SL Development XI v England XI, Colombo, 1st day March 20, 2012

Silva leaves England toiling

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sri Lanka Development XI 376 for 5 (Silva 163, Kandamby 64, A Perera 61*, Broad 3-55) v England XI

Any illusions England may have had over the enormity of their task in Sri Lanka were dispelled as Chamara Silva thumped a century on the first day of the warm-up match against a Development XI in Colombo.

Silva, who has played 11 Tests and 75 ODIs, forced England to toil throughout an unremitting day of heat and humidity, making 163 as the Development XI reached the close on 376 for 5 from 90 overs. England's bowlers, lacking the rested James Anderson and Monty Panesar, conceded four an over throughout the day and could find little encouragement in the pitch or the overhead conditions. So hot were the conditions that Matt Prior kept wicket without pads for long periods.

There was some positive news for England. Stuart Broad, who missed the first warm-up match with a sprained ankle, was declared fit to play and claimed two wickets in his first spell and one more shortly before the close although did say following the day's play that he felt some soreness after 15 overs.

Former Test batsman Malinda Warnapura fell to the fourth ball of the match, driving to mid-off, before Dilshan Munaweera was bowled in Broad's fifth over. Later he trapped Kushal Perera with the first delivery with the second new ball.

There was little further joy for England. Graeme Swann, Steven Finn and Samit Patel all conceded more than four an over as Silva, whose career high came when he made an unbeaten 152 against New Zealand in 2006 but has not played Test cricket since 2008, stuck 25 fours and a six. He added 151 for the third-wicket with Thilina Kandamby (64) and 93 for the fourth with Angelo Perera (61 not out).

England's spinners - Swann and Patel - endured a particularly tough day. The pair claimed just one wicket between them while conceding 185 in 39 overs, with Swann going wicketless while conceding over 100 in his 21 overs. Patel did, at least, enjoy one bright moment when he turned one out of the rough to bowl Kandamby, but Swann was taken for 25 in his first three overs while, later in the day, Perera hit him for two sixes.

Alastair Cook, who made a century in the first warm-up match, was also rested ahead of the first Test that begins in Galle on Monday, providing an opportunity for Patel and Ravi Bopara to stake their claims for the No. 6 spot.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on March 22, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (March 21 2012, 00:51 AM GMT) It's unfair to judge re Finn or Bres on this surface where only Broad from both sides has succeeded. They've been given a batsman's paradise to bowl on. It's like batsmen being given minefield to prove themselves on. If anything on these batsmen's paradises there is an even bigger argument for playing 5 bowlers. If we are having little success bowling a second string side out with 4 bowlers then it will surely be much tougher to bowl out Sanga , Jaya and co with 4. I realise that half our likely attack were not there but Bres and Finn are not so inferior to Anderson. We do need to win this series (a drawn series and we lose our number 1 ranking) so surely it's worth the gamble to lose some runs at the expense of taking some more wickets. If we don't take 20 wickets we don't win regardless of what our batsmen do - simple as that.

  • John on March 22, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    I like ROs comms on Landl when mysteriously RO/J are the 1st to leave ship when Oz are up S creek. Also quite ironic that we are losing our grip on the Ashes fast. But maybe not as fast as he is losing his grip on reality. Please publish ESPN

  • John on March 21, 2012, 21:15 GMT

    @Nutcutlet on (March 20 2012, 19:51 PM GMT) I'd say one of our best 2 bowlers was playing today and did quite well. I'm still glad they didn't overbowl Broad. I'd say you can still have Patel in the same side as Swann and Monty. Patel is primarily a batsman and his bowling is a bonus - maybe (and this will sound disrespectful) like a poor man's Hafeez. It was a very bad day for England today apart from Broad and maybe Bresnan showing control if not taking wickets. Maybe this is a belter to bat on and the lower middle order can fill their boots but then again it could be that because it is such a decent batting track it will not show a true reflection on how our batsmen are doing. Well played Silva for SL. Having said that I wasn't getting carried away by the win in the 1st match so I'll try not to be too down after this bad day at the office

  • Charles on March 21, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    If Patel and Bopara are playing for a place I do not understand why Strauss / Flower declared when both were batting. Either Bresnan is going to bat at 7 or they have decided they need Patel's bowling already . It seems a bit unfair on Ravi not to be allowed to go on and get a decent score on a good batting pitch and press his claim.

  • sathira on March 21, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    this is an advise for SL selecting committee:many srilankans players need rest bez of playing non-stop matches,so we can some rest for someplayers,such as dilshan,mahela&so on,but we can not rested sanga,he is key factor for many matches&other thing is we have to plan for long-term,not for short term,we can not predict whether senior players are gong to play 2015 world cup,so we must give chances for young players,dilshan must be rested,we have to some risk without that there will be no gains,AUS selecting is the best selecting committee!!do not depend on 1or2 players for many years,there are many players waiting out side for the matches,give chances for them,not give Priority for personnal records by staying them so long,that why AUS cricket is very good all the time,we do not need 20000 runs,please SL selecting committee select many young players for ENG test,give rest for mahela.dilshan!!!!!first country afterthat personal records!!

  • Dru on March 21, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    This is one of the flattest cricket wickets in the world so I would read much in to the scorecard. I am not sure where all this anit-Swan feeling is comming from. Sure he was outbowled in UAE - has happend to better bowlers than Swan, but surely Swan's wicket taking abilities and lower order runs will see him easily in the team. As for Chamara I see a sense of de-jaa-voo: he will get a chance make a hundred and then fail for the next three years and then eventually get dropped. The guy is 32 and has been tested and failed. Sure he is subline form this season but I would opt for another 22 year old who can play another 15 years and turn in to the next Sanga or Mehela. Thirimane played the last test against SA - he deserves a chance at home on conditions he is used to. They guy did a decent job in the one dayers too. What message are you sending to a guy like Thirimane if he is dropped after one test against the best bowling attack in the world.

  • Satish on March 21, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    England should look out for second slow bowling option.. On form, Monty deserves it.. Plus with the vacancy of Morgans' slot and Bell's form likely to create a gap, they need to look out options to include Patel in case they can't pick Monty due to better batting abilities of Swann.. As of now, 4 batsmen in Cook, Strauss, Trott and KP are settled, Keeper in Prior, and two fast bowlers in Broad and Anderson are the sure starters.. With three positions to be filled, two would be shared between Finn, Patel, Swann and Monty, One slot has the options of would be between Bopara and Bresnan..

  • Satish on March 21, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    Usually SL produces some flat tracks where their batsmen can make merry and Murali used to wipe off the flat track advantage of the opponents.. Now without Murali, they will find it tough as the playfield gets even for opponents too.. The dilemma is, they can't produce nippy tracks too as England have more potent attack.. Spin is their only option left and they need to more than what they did against Australia to make a match out of it.. To add to the misery, they are heavily underprepared.. From neutral perspective, With odds against them, it will be great for them to escape with draw.. But on field, anything can happen.. Hope for a good series..

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    Could it be a bit of flat track then? Don't make judgements unitl both sides have batted. We'll see how England bats.

  • Jason on March 21, 2012, 7:45 GMT

    @TheHoneymonster, agreed, though the difference between england and that Pakistan side was fitness, this england team is one of the fittest, even with Samit, in world cricket at the moment. We wont be able to tell if this is a competative total or not until england have had a chance to bat.

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