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March 20, 2012
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.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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