Strauss and Trott make hay
Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott compiled chanceless centuries on day two of England’s pre-Test warm-up against the Sri Lanka Development XI in Colombo.
Responding to the hosts’ 431 for six declared, the openers shared a stand worth 197 - both retiring on reaching three figures to allow others time at the crease.
Strauss declared with his side 159 behind and Stuart Broad struck before the Development XI closed the penultimate day on 44 for one, 203 ahead.
The tourists were made to field for almost an hour this morning before reaching the agreed first-innings maximum of 100 overs.
Broad bowled three overs at a decent pace from the outset, suggesting his left ankle suffered no ill effects from yesterday’s exertions.
A variety of carefree shots helped the Development XI add 55. Angelo Perera was the man out, upper-cutting Steven Finn to third man for 85. Perera added 24 to his overnight 61 and Kaushal Lokuarachchi moved from 22 yesterday to 51 not out.
Trott, opening in place of the rested Alastair Cook, got the England reply going by nudging his third ball for four and punched Vishwa Fernando for another boundary in the fourth over.
Strauss found his feet with successive fours off Fernando two overs later, but Tharanga Lakshitha was keeping the batsmen honest at the other end.
A confident Strauss pull off Isuru Udana, followed by an inside edge to the fine-leg boundary off the same bowler, kept the total ticking along.
England were having little trouble finding the ropes, with Trott’s trademark flick through midwicket and a Strauss drive bringing up a brisk half-century stand. By lunch, the pair had put on 60 without loss.
They continued with positive intent in the afternoon. Trott wasted no time in milking four boundaries off the wayward Udana to race past 40 and Strauss greeted the arrival of Sajeera Weerakoon by hoisting the slow left-armer's second delivery over long-off for six.
The hosts turned back to strike bowler Lakshitha and Strauss promptly guided his first ball to the long-leg boundary.
Trott won the race to 50, getting there in 62 balls with the first of two consecutive boundaries off Weerakoon.
Leg-spinner Lokuarachchi was next in to the attack but nothing looked likely to knock England off their stride, with a misfield at point helping Strauss to his half-century.
Lokuarachchi put out a hand as he attempted to catch a Trott rocket over middle stump but the umpire took the brunt of the blow.
That denied him another boundary, but both men were helping themselves to those by now as they eased to 150 in 207 deliveries.
At tea they were 193 without loss and twin hundreds were a formality. Both batsmen retired promptly upon reaching their landmarks, with each taking 140 balls.
Ian Bell struck his second delivery for six, but was on his way for 14 when he turned Lakshitha to midwicket.
Kevin Pietersen, meanwhile, compiled a breezy 26 at a run a ball - including a maximum of his own - before he was beaten by the slow left-armer Weerakoon and stumped.
Ravi Bopara and Samit Patel had 12 apiece when Strauss made his bold declaration at 272 for four.
Broad saw his first two balls disappear for four before trapping Malinga Warnapura lbw for his fourth wicket of the match.
Opener Dilshan Munaweera advanced to a run-a-ball 26 alongside Kushal Perera.