Colombo, Aug 8 (IANS) The Indian cricket team played out a draw against Sri Lanka Board President’s XI here on Saturday after dominating the three-day warm-up game.
The Indians came close to victory, taking six second innings wickets of the home team, but they batted dourly in the closing stages to end the day at 200/6, in reply to a target of 411 runs.
India’s top off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (3/38), along with his spin partners Harbhajan Singh (1/26) and Amit Mishra (1/42) bowled well in tandem to pose a threat for the President’s XI.
For the hosts, opener Kaushal Silva (83) and experienced middle order batsman Upul Tharanga (52) impressed.
But what will put creases on the forehead of India’s skipper Virat Kohli will be the patchy form of his team’s batsmen who once again failed in the second innings, getting out for a paltry 180.
The Indians began from their overnight score of 112/3 but both the unbeaten batsmen K.L. Rahul (47) and Cheteshwar Pujara (31) got out to give the lower order some batting practice.
But that sparked a series of dismissals as Ashwin (0), Harbhajan (4), Amit Mishra (7) and Varun Aaron (2) were all out cheaply.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar added 37 runs for the final wicket with Umesh Yadav (17 not out) before he was last man dismissed.
But the bowlers kept up their impressive form to paper over the deficiencies of the batsmen and got some valuable match practice.
India play a three-match Test series against Sri Lanka with the first match beginning on August 12 at Galle.
Brief scores: Indians 351 and 180 (K.L. Rahul 47, Cheteshwar Pujara 31);
Sri Lanka President’s XI 121 and 200/6 (Kaushal Silva 83, Upul Tharanga 52)