Sri Lanka England tour opener ends in draw

Nov 22, 2007 (AFP) – England drew their first match of the Sri Lanka tour on Thursday after gaining useful batting practice at the Colombo Cricket Club. The tourists, replying to Sri Lanka Cricket XI’s mammoth 500-5 piled over the first two days of the practice match, scored 315-6 on the final day before the game was called off.

Opener Alastair Cook made 63, Ian Bell hit 49 and Paul Collingwood smashed a belligerent 52 off 69 balls before all three batsmen retired to give others a chance at the crease.

England captain Michael Vaughan made 38 but star batsmen Kevin Pietersen was dismissed cheaply.

Vaughan was trapped leg-before by leg-spinner Malinga Bandara, while Pietersen fended at a short ball from Nuwan Kulasekera and was caught at gully for four.

It was England’s first hit since the one-day tour of Sri Lanka a month ago when they recorded an impressive 3-2 win in the five-match series.

The tourists get another chance to tune up for three back-to-back Tests starting in Kandy on Decemer 1 when they play a first-class match against the same opposition in Colombo from Sunday.

The home team, comprising Sri Lanka’s second-st