Sri Lanka hammer England in tour opener

Nov 21, 2007 (AFP) – England’s bowlers got a taste of the perils that await them in the upcoming Test series as Sri Lanka’s second-string battered them in a practice match here on Wednesday. The Sri Lanka Cricket XI batted through the second consecutive day to take their overnight total of 218-3 to 500-5 declared by close with three young batsman flaying centuries off the tourists’ attack.

Opener Upul Tharanga, 22, who was sent home early from the senior team’s Test tour of Australia to prepare for the home series, began the carnage with a well-crafted 112.

Chamara Kapugedara, a 20-year-old who has played in six Tests and 22 one-dayers, enhanced his claims for a Test berth with a brilliant 141 studded with 16 boundaries and three sixes.

Unheralded Thilana Kandamby, aged 25, came in at number six to plunder an unbeaten 107 and wicket-keeper Kaushal Silva hit 54 not out.

Monty Panesar gave away 117 runs in his 27 overs for one wicket and spinning partner Graeme Swann went for 1-112 in 25 overs on a slow wicket that afforded no assistance to the bowlers.

England’s hopes of getting some batting practice were dashed as heavy rain flooded the Colombo Cricket Club soon afte