India started their tour of Sri Lanka on an impressive note with their bowlers putting up a tidy display to bundle out Sri Lanka Board XI for a modest 224 on a rain-truncated opening day of the three-day warm-up match in Colombo on Friday.
Electing to bat, the home team never really recovered from a shaky start and could have been skittled out for a much lower first innings total had it not been for a resolute 100-run fifth wicket partnership between Thilina Kandamby (84) and Chamara Silva (68).
Captain Anil Kumble (3/30) was the pick of the Indian bowlers while paceman Zaheer Khan (2/35) and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (2/52) chipped in with two wickets each at the Nondescripts Cricket Club.
The Indians, playing their only warm-up game before the three-match Test series gets underway from July 23, were struggling at four for one at close with opener Gautam Gambhir back in the pavilion.
The track at the NCC gave some assistance to the bowlers and the visitors exploited the conditions reasonably well to capture wickets at periodic intervals. Ishant Sharma drew first blood by getting rid of opener Mahela Udawatte (7) with wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik taking a smart catch.
The other opener Upul Tharanga returned to the pavilion soon after to reduce the hosts to a precarious 20 for two with Zaheer picking up his first scalp.
SL Board XI 1st inns: Tharanga lbw b Zaheer 6, Udawatte c Karthik b Ishant 7, Mubarak lbw b Harbhajan 25, Kapugedera c Karthik b Zaheer 1, Kandamby c Karthik b Munaf 84, Silva c Kumble b Harbhajan 68, Silva lbw b Kumble 12, Prasad lbw b Kumble 0, Herath run out 1, Prasanna b Kumble 5, de Silva not out 0. Extras (b-6, lb-6, nb-3) 15 Total (all out; 71.5 overs) 224
Fall of wkts: 1-10, 2-20, 3-22, 4-82, 5-182, 6-212, 7-212, 8-214, 9-223
Bowling: Zaheer 12-2-35-2, Ishant 11-2-36-1, Munaf 12-3-49-1, Ganguly 6-1-10-0, Harbhajan 17.5-3-52-2, Kumble 13-4-30-3
India 1st inns: Gambhir c Mubarak b Fernando 4, Sehwag batting 0. Total (for 1 wkt; 0.4 overs) 4
Fall of wkt: 1-4
Bowling: Fernando 0.4-0-4-1