England wait on Broad
Stuart Broad bowled today for the first time since spraining his ankle but England are unlikely to make a decision on his fitness until the morning.
The seam bowler injured his left ankle minutes before the first warm-up game on Thursday, forcing him to withdraw, and there are question marks over his participation in tomorrow’s second and final tour match.
Broad would appear a certainty to play in the first Test in Galle on March 26 if fully fit but, should England choose not to risk him against the Sri Lankan Development XI, it would mean plunging him straight into Test duty with no match practice in energy-sapping heat.
After a slow warm-up, Broad was approaching full tilt by the end of his spell and went on to bat as well. He appeared in no obvious discomfort but will be assessed in the morning for any reaction.
Speaking ahead of the session, team director Andy Flower said: “He’s been recovering okay and he will be fitness tested this afternoon. After he’s had a bowl we’ll decide whether we are going to play him.
“That decision could be made after training or in the morning when we see how he pulls up then.”
Flower is targeting another professional display at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground after a ruthless innings victory in their first game.
Sri Lanka will arrive back for the Test series having just contested the limited-overs Asia Cup in Bangladesh and Flower is hoping his side can take the edge in terms of preparations.
“I think it (the Asia Cup) is probably not Sri Lanka’s ideal preparation,” he said.
“They are very experienced cricketers and will be used to switching from one format to another. But I think they might be slightly undercooked on that front and obviously we’d like to take the initiative.
“There’s still some acclimatisation time left before the first Test and this game is part of that.
“Our guys played superbly in the first three-day game. Now we have another and we would like to play to win that as well as getting the right time in the middle that our guys need.
“Our preparation has been excellent so far and I imagine by the first Test we will be ready.”