Colombo: England displayed their batting prowess ahead of next week's Test series in Sri Lanka by winning the last practice match with an amazing run chase on Thursday.
The tourists surpass a stiff target of 359 from 64 overs with 4wickets and 20 balls to spare against a Sri Lanka improvement XI in the 3-day match at the Sinhalese sports club in Colombo. Matt Prior led the assault with a scorching 84 off 60 balls, and was ably support by Kevin Pietersen (52), Ravi Bopara (66) and Samit Patel (72).
Graeme Swann bring up the win for the world's top-ranked Test side with 14 runs off 3 balls -- four, six and four -- off leg-spinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi.Out-of-form Ian Bell was the lone batsman to miss out, falling for 11. He has now scored just 25 runs in 3 innings on the tour so far.
The tourists suffer a blow when it was exposed that Bopara was unlikely to bowl in the 2-Test series due to a side strain. Bopara will, however, still be available for choice as an expert batsman, a team spokesman said. The home team, who resumed their 2nd innings at the for the night score of 44-1, moved to 199-4 before the innings was declared during the lunch break.
Angelo Perera, a 22-year-old right-hander, followed his 85 in the 1st innings with a winning 90 off 70 balls, studded with 8t boundaries and 6 sixes. The tourists won the 1st practice match against the Cricket Board XI by an innings and 15 runs. The 1st Test open in Galle from Monday, followed by the 2nd in Colombo from April 3.
Sri Lanka Development XI 1st innings: 431-6 declared -Chamara Silva 163, Thilina Kandamby 64, Angelo Perera 85, Stuart Broad 3-69, Steven Finn 2-93, and Samit Patel 1-83.
England 1st innings: 272-4 declared. Andrew Strauss 100 retired, Jonathan Trott 101 retired.
Sri Lanka Development XI 2nd innings: 199-4 declared .Angelo Perera 90 not out, Steven Finn 1-17, Tim Bresnan 1-16.
England 2nd innings: 360-6 (Kevin Pietersen 52, Ravi Bopara 66, Matt Prior 84, Samit Patel 72) England won by four wickets.