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

Bowlers' names don't matter - Silva

Chamara Silva, the Sri Lanka middle-order batsman, gave a timely reminder to the national selectors that he is prime form by hitting 163 off 180 balls for Sri Lanka Development XI on the opening day of the three-day practice match against the tourists at the SSC.

Silva scored 1000 runs for Bloomfield in the domestic Premier League Tier A tournament but is unlikely to come under consideration for the first Test against England in Galle next week. The last of his 11 Tests came against West Indies, in Trinidad, during 2008 and with the emergence of Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews and Chamara Kapugedera, Silva has been pushed aside but made the most of a chance to impress.

"This innings was no different to how I batted throughout the season. I didn't do anything different and the runs came my way and I kept going," he said. "The difference is that this was a Test bowling line-up and you don't receive too many loose balls. The bowlers' names don't matter to me very much. Whoever bowls he bowls the same ball. If you play the correct stroke to every ball you will score runs."

Silva was slotted to go in at No. 3 and was already walking out to bat while the first over of the innings was in progress after opener Malinda Warnapura had fallen for a duck to the third ball.

"Going out to bat in the first over was a big challenge for me," Silva said. "I had to face the new ball but I was able to negotiate it because of the form I was in. I started to middle the ball from the very first delivery I faced. As much as England bowled well I also batted well."

Silva was especially aggressive against the spinners and Graeme Swann, England's No.1 slow bowler, went wicketless while conceding over 100 runs. "I play spinners differently to others," Silva said. "I won't let a spinner dominate me I always try to make him do what I want."

England appeared rattled by the way Silva attacked their bowlers in very hot conditions by driving, cutting, pulling and hooking them to all parts of the field. "When wickets don't fall the opposition sometimes gets rattled. England has a good world class bowling line up with some big names in it but if you do your part right it is not so difficult to score runs off them."

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