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Kaushal, Tharanga fifties in draw

Indians 351 (Rahane 109, Rajitha 5-68) and 180 (Rahul 47) drew with Sri Lanka Board Presisdent's XI 121 (Ishant 5-23) and 200 for 6 (Kaushal 83*, Tharanga 52, Ashwin 3-38)

Scorecard and ball-by-ball-details

Kaushal Silva played himself into some form ahead of the first Test, but another failure for Lahiru Thirimanne weakened his grip on the Sri Lanka No. 4 position, as the tour match wound to a draw at the Premadasa Stadium. Silva's 83 not out was compiled with characteristic measure, as he gritted through the testing new-ball spells, before settling down in the late afternoon.

Thirimanne's cagey 18, however, may see him leave the Sri Lanka XI, particularly as Upul Tharanga stroked a brisk fifty following Thirimanne's departure. Tharanga, Thirimanne and Jehan Mubarak are effectively playing for two places in the batting order. Mubarak's absence from this practice match suggests his place is safe, and Tharanga's superior output against the Indians may see him move to No. 4, as Kumar Sangakkara returns to his familiar No. 3 position.

On a pitch that had now begun to take turn, R Ashwin dismissed three middle-order left-handed batsmen, each intent on attack. Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, and Umesh Yadav all claimed a wicket apiece as well, as the Board President's XI scored 200 for 6 in 54 overs.

The Indians' bowlers also had a workout with the bat early in the day, after KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara were retired out overnight. Only Bhuvneshwar Kumar made use of the opportunity, hitting 37 from 56 balls. Ashwin, Harbhajan and Varun Aaron all made single-figure scores, but Umesh clung on for some time with Bhuvneshwar, making 17 out of their last-wicket partnership of 37.

Kaushal survived a close lbw shout off the bowling of Umesh early in his innings, but was chanceless after that, leaving plenty of deliveries from the seamers, as he inched to 9 from his first 28 deliveries. His opening partner Dhananjaya de Silva edged Umesh to third slip for 6, and though Thirimanne stayed with him for 19.2 overs, neither scored many runs. Thirimanne had just begun to loosen up against the spinners, even coming down the track to launch Mishra over the infield, before he pushed at a turning Harbhajan delivery and edged it to slip.

Tharanga was in rhythm from very early in his innings, finding the off-side boundary often enough to stay at close to a run-a-ball for the duration of his knock. He was particularly severe on Ashwin, off whom he struck 14 runs in three balls, including a straight six. He flew to fifty off as many balls having hit nine boundaries in all, but was out trying to lift Ashwin over the infield again. An inside edge off his bat looped to Pujara at square leg.

Ashwin dismissed Milinda Siriwardene and Kusal Perera in quick succession, in almost identical fashion. Both batsmen made room to attempt a stroke through the off side, but were bowled by quicker deliveries. Kusal has a place in the Test squad, but is unlikely to push a batsman out of the existing batting order, after finishing this match with scores of 0 and 1.

Shehan Jayasuriya holed out trying to hit Mishra over cover, and though Sachith Pathirana was no less aggressive in his 31-ball stay, he managed to avoid the fielders with his occasional mis-hits. Play was called off with the Indians still 210 runs ahead.

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SL Pres. XI 4th innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st14JK SilvaDM de Silva
2nd45JK SilvaHDRL Thirimanne
3rd73WU TharangaJK Silva
4th4JK SilvaTAM Siriwardana
5th4JK SilvaMDKJ Perera
6th14JK SilvaGSNFG Jayasuriya
7th46JK SilvaSS Pathirana