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England emerged winners as bowlers hit back – Sri Lanka tour match

Zia Rana March 18, 2012

England 303-8 wickets  (Alastair Cook unbeaten 163, Andrew Strauss 40, Malinga Bandra 3-58) beat Sri Lanka Board XI, 169 and 119 (Dimuth Karunaratne 31, James Anderson, Steven Finn and Graeme Swann, three wickets each) by an innings and 15 runs.

Alastair Cook, Star performer with unbeaten 163

Alastair Cook, Star performer with unbeaten 163

England started off their tour of Sri Lanka on a positive note by winning the first side match against Sri Lanka Board XI by an innings and 15 runs.

Sri Lanka Board XI surrendered in their first innings for 169. England declared their innings after scoring a mammoth total of 303 runs. The hosts were bowled out again for 119 runs in their second innings by a superb bowling by the English bowlers.

The match was played at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on March 15, 16 and 17, 2012.

Earlier, the Sri Lankan Board XI Captain Prasanna Jayawardene won the toss on the first day of the match and opted to bat which proved costly for them. They lost their initial two wickets for just 11 runs as Ashen Silva and Roshen Silva contributed 54 runs for the third wicket.

Ashen kept cruising and associated another 65 runs with Sachithra Serasinghe and was the seventh batsman to go back to the pavilion for 66 off 179 balls with 8 fours as the whole team was bowled out for 169 runs in 73.3 overs.

Monte Panesar proved his worth on the spinning tracks of the sub continent by grabbing five wickets, James Anderson held four as Steven Finn claimed one wicket.

England openers initiated their innings in a commanding way with their regular openers, Captain Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook. The opening stand provided a solid stand of 89 runs when Strauss was gone for 40 runs. Cook carried on with the onslaught as the wickets kept on falling at the other end and only Kevin Pietersen shared a notable partnership of 69 runs for the third wicket.

Cook demonstrated a polished unbeaten knock of 163 off 293 balls with 11 fours as Strauss declared their innings for 303 runs in exact 100 overs.

Bandra was the highest wicket taker with three wickets, Dilruwan Perera and Sachithra Serasinghe shared two wickets each and Kanishaka Alvitigala claimed one wicket.

The home side was under pressure while conceding a lead of 134 runs and had a dismal start of their second innings by losing their first wicket without a run on board. Dimuth Karunaratne held one end as the wickets kept on crumbling at the other end.

He became the third victim for 31as the total reached at 51 and they had lost eight wickets down with the addition of 28 runs. Malinga Bandara and Tyron gave some resistance in the lower order by accumulating 39 runs as their innings was folded back at 119 runs.

Andersen, Finn and Graeme Swann accelerated in the bowling by sharing three wickets each as Panesar held one.

England won the match convincingly by an innings and 15 runs and the tour opener was gained with a lot confidence ahead of two Test series.

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