England off to flying start

2012-03-17 14:41
James Anderson (File)

Colombo - England made a winning start to their tour of Sri Lanka by defeating the Board XI by an innings and 15 runs on the final day of the three-day match in Colombo on Saturday.

The tourists, who declared their first innings at the overnight total of 303-8, a lead of 134 runs, bowled out the home team for 119 in their second knock at the Premadasa stadium.

Fast bowler James Anderson followed his 4-19 in the first innings with 3-21. Seamer Steven Finn and off-spinner Graeme Swann also claimed three wickets each.

Anderson said the intensity with which his team played the practice match will serve the tourists well in the Tests.

"I thought it was a pretty good three days for us with both bat and ball," he said. "We could not have asked for more. They were two brilliant bowling performances in both innings.

"There are sterner challenges ahead but all we can do is play what is put in front of us. We know full well it is going to get harder throughout the tour with the heat and the opposition."

England are due to play another practice match in Colombo from Tuesday before the two-Test series start in the coastal town of Galle on March 26.

The second Test will be played at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo from April 3.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka Board XI 1st innings: 169 (Ashen Silva 66, Sachithra Serasinghe 31, James Anderson 4-19, Monty Panesar 5-37, Steven Finn 1-33).

England 1st innings: 303-8 declared (Alastair Cook 163 not out, Andrew Strauss 40, Malinga Bandara 3-58)

Sri Lanka Board XI 2nd innings: 119 all out (James Anderson 3-21, Steven Finn 3-24, Graeme Swann 3-33).

England won by an innings and 15 runs

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