England make strong start

Anderson and Panesar lead the way in Sri Lanka tour opener

Last Updated: 17/03/12 12:54pm

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(l-r) Steven Finn, James Anderson and Monty Panesar: among the wickets in Colombo

(l-r) Steven Finn, James Anderson and Monty Panesar: among the wickets in Colombo

Sky Bet

Monty Panesar and James Anderson shared nine wickets in the absence of the injured Stuart Broad as England took control on day one of their warm-up fixture against a Sri Lanka Board XI in Colombo.

The three-day match started badly for the tourists, with Broad withdrawing from the game after tripping on a boundary rope and spraining his left ankle.

The problem is not thought to be serious, although the seamer will be monitored by England's medical team.

Broad's regular new-ball partner Anderson (4-19) was first to impress at the Premadasa Stadium, taking the opening four wickets in humid conditions, only for Panesar to steal the limelight with five of the next six as the hosts made 169 all out.

Having shone on his Test comeback in the United Arab Emirates, spinner Panesar's figures of 5-37 in 23.3 overs continued his impressive return to prominence.

Early inroads

Anderson got England off to a perfect start, taking two wickets in a testing opening spell.

First to go was Dimuth Karunaratne, caught behind by Matt Prior for a duck.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa was the next man out, held by Jonathan Trott at third slip fending at one outside off stump.

Broad's replacement, Steven Finn, had a good lbw shout against Roshan Silva turned down in the first over of his second spell, while Graeme Swann thought he had the same batsman caught at the wicket for seven only to be denied.

Panesar had to wait until the 22nd over for a bowl, but was quickly into his stride with four maidens from five overs.

With 64-2 on the board at lunch, Anderson resumed at the start of the afternoon session and struck for the third time in the first over back.

Roshen Silva, having been beaten moments previously, inside-edged the ball on to his stumps to depart for 21.

The Lancastrian continued his one-man show in his next over, trapping captain Prasanna Jayawardene lbw for two to leave the home side 67-4.

Sachithra Serasinghe upped the scoring rate when he arrived at the crease, while opener Ashen Silva crawled along towards 50 - a mark he eventually reached in 142 balls.

At that stage England's spinners were continuing to toil without reward, although Panesar went close when Anderson spilt a deflected chance off Serasinghe at slip.

Panesar burst

Panesar eventually got his man for 31, spin finally yielding a wicket for England after 30 fruitless overs.

Panesar added his second minutes later, sending Dilruwan Perera back for a duck with an lbw verdict.

Finn (1-33) made it three wickets in 19 balls for England just before tea when he combined with Prior to end Ashen Silva's defiant stay for 66.

The Board XI lost their eighth wicket when Kanishka Alvitigala was bowled by Panesar on the back foot with the score at 138.

Finn cracked Tyron Gamage flush on the helmet with a bouncer, only for the tailender to dispatch him for six over midwicket two balls later.

Gamage hit a second maximum off Panesar, while Anderson dropped his second slip chance of the day when Swann found Malinga Bandara's edge.

Panesar's day continued to get better though, Swann holding a steepler at long off to dismiss Bandara for six and Nilanka Premaratne gifting him his fifth wicket with a loose stroke.

England only faced seven balls before bad light arrived, skipper Andrew Strauss scoring all the runs as his side closed on 6-0 in reply.

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