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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 November 2007, 12:36 GMT
England wait on Harmison injury
Tour match, Colombo (day one, stumps): Sri Lanka Board XI 298-9 v England

England captain Michael Vaughan (left) gestures as James Anderson (right) looks in concern at the injured Steve Harmison
Michael Vaughan gestures in concern as Harmison breaks down

Steve Harmison's chances of featuring in the first Test against Sri Lanka suffered a blow when he pulled up with a back problem on Sunday.

He managed three balls of his 11th over against a Sri Lanka Board President's XI before leaving the field.

"Steve does not require scans, but is being treated and we will see how much he recovers overnight," said England media manager Andrew Walpole.

Matthew Hoggard picked up three wickets as the President's XI scored 298-9.

Harmison, who had earlier taken the wicket of Tillekaratne Dilshan, seized up soon after starting his fourth spell of the day at the Nondescripts Cricket Club in Colombo.

He has only recently returned to action after hernia surgery and a subsequent back injury which meant he missed virtually all the latter half of last season.

He was forced out of Durham's Friends Provident final victory in August because of a muscle tear in his back.

There are concerns the problem could be a recurrence of that injury, but it could also be a back spasm which would only be a short-term problem.


With Harmison short of overs under his belt he was already facing a race against time to be ready for the Test series, which starts in Kandy in just six days time.

England enjoyed a good work-out on Sunday, despite once again struggling to remove an in-form Upul Tharanga.

The left-hander, who hit a century in the first warm-up match last week, weighed in with 86 this time round.

Hoggard made the initial breakthrough in the 16th over when he removed Mahela Udawatte courtesy of a diving catch from England skipper Michael Vaughan at mid-on.

Ravi Bopara, competing with Owais Shah for the one remaining batting place in the Test line-up, proved his worth with the ball by shaping one in to cramp Malinda Warnapura, who edged behind.

Monty Panesar (left) celebrates as Alastair Cook looks on
Monty Panesar (left) boosted his Test chances with three late wickets

Board skipper Dilshan, overlooked for the Sri Lanka Test squad, hooked Anderson for six before top-edging a short one from Harmison to mid-on.

Tharanga hit 11 fours before James Anderson had him caught at slip, while Hoggard claimed a second wicket when Bopara sprawled to take an agile catch at mid-wicket to remove Chamara Kapugedera, like Tharanga a centurion in the first match of the tour.

Despite some confident appeals England were then held up by a 29-over partnership after tea between Jehan Mubarak and Kaushal Silva.

It took quick reactions from Alastair Cook at short-leg to make the breakthrough as he scooped up a bat-pad opportunity to dismiss Silva off Panesar.

Having broken the 105-run stand the left-arm spinner then made it two in two as Kaushal Lokuarachchi was trapped lbw playing back.

Hoggard snared Mubarak, who edged low to Matt Prior, and Cook launched himself full length to claim a second close catch off Panesar to remove Chakanka Welegedara seconds before bad light ended things.

Panesar ended with 3-67 while Hoggard finished with 3-57.

Vaughan keeps Test options open
22 Nov 07 |  England
Cook stars in tame England draw
22 Nov 07 |  England
Harmison takes six wickets in SA
09 Nov 07 |  England
Harmison display worries Boycott
23 Nov 06 |  England
England in Sri Lanka 2007
25 Jun 07 |  Cricket


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