A well complied half-century by middle order batsman Chamara Silva on the first day of the three day warm up game against the visiting Indians ensured his place in the squad for the Test series that starts on Wednesday. While Silva's fifty guaranteed his place in the senior side, it also helped Sri Lanka Board President's XI to recover to 224 all out after the top order struggled against some quality bowling by the tourists.
Silva was well supported by Thilina Kandamby, who top scored with 84 runs, but neither batsmen went onto compile a big hundred perishing for bad shots.
Kandamby walked in to join his captain Jehan Mubarak after the Sri Lankans were reduced to 22 for three. He set about his job exhibiting fine temperament and a call up for the senior squad looked to be on the cards before he perished after the tea break trying to pull Munaf Patel.
Kandamby added 60 runs for the fourth wicket with Mubarak in 99 balls as Sri Lanka recovered to reach 81 for three at lunch.
He added exactly 100 more runs with Silva, before his attempted pull shot ended up in the hands of wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik. He made 84 in 138 balls with 11 boundaries.
Mubarak (25) was unfortunate to be ruled out leg-before wicket to Harbhajan Singh despite getting a thick edge in the second ball after the lunch break.
The very next ball from the off-spinner was smartly swept by Silva, who showed his class from the outset. Later he went onto pull the Punjabi for a massive six over mid-wicket.
While Kandamby and Silva were batting, runs continued to flow for the hosts as they reached 175 for four at tea.
Kandamby’s dismissal with the score on 182 triggered off a lower order collapse as the Indians picked up wickets at regular intervals. The last seven Sri Lankan wickets in fact fell for the addition of just 42 runs as Anil Kumble, who had kept himself out of the action for the most part of the first two sessions claimed three of those seven victims.
He had both Kaushal Silva (12) and Dhammika Prasad (0) in the space of three deliveries, both trapped leg-before-wicket, as they failed to read the leg-spinner’s quicker delivery.
Silva then perished for 68 becoming Harbhajan’s second victim having faced 138 balls and hit six fours and two sixes.
The lower order failed to provide any resistance as with the exception of Kaushal Silva none of the other batsmen managed to reach double figures.
The game was stopped due to rain interruptions either side of lunch and tea and at 4:56 pm after just five balls had been bowled in the Indian innings, bad light forced an early end to play with still 14 overs left to be bowled. The game will resume 30 minutes before schedule today.
The Indians lost the wicket of opener Gautam Gambhir as Mubarak picked him up at gully for four off Fernando.
While the Indians will take heart with their bowling effort, the Sri Lankans will be disappointed for not making the most of the opportunity with three of the four selectors closely following the day’s proceedings.
Opener Mahela Udawatta, Chamara Kapugedara, Chamara Silva and Kandamby all fell for poor shots and with the selectors scheduled to meet today, apart from Silva, none of them did anything significant to warrant selection.
Sri Lanka Board XI
U. Tharanga lbw b Khan 06
M. Udawatte ct Karthik b Sharma 07
J. Mubarak lbw b Harbhajan 25
C. Kapugedara ct Karthik b Khan 01
T. Kandamby ct Karthik b Patel 84
C. Silva ct Kumble b Harbhajan 68
K. Silva lbw b Kumble 12
D. Prasad lbw b Kumble 00
R. Herath run out (Sharma) 01
S. Prasanna b Kumble 05
S. Silva not out 00
Extras: (b 6, lb6, nb3) 15
Total: all out 224
Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-20, 3-22, 4-82, 5-182, 6-212, 7-212, 8-214, 9-223.
Bowling: Khan 12-2-35-2 (2nb), Sharma 11-2-36-1, Patel 12-3-49-1, Ganguly
06-1-10-0, Harbhajan 17.5-3-52-2, Kumble 13-4-30-3 (1nb).
G. Gambhir ct Mubarak b Fernando 04
V. Sehwag not out 00
Total: for one wicket 04
Fall of wickets: 1-4.
Bowling: Fernando 0.4-0-4-1.
To bat: Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, Dinesh Karthik, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble , Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel.
Twelve players per side. 11 to field and 11 to bat
Umpires: Morris deyla Zylva and Kumar Dharmasena