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    England look to seal warm-up games

    Colombo: England's Graeme Swann said on Sunday the team was hoping to set the stage for the upcoming Test series with a win at the next warm-up game against Sri Lanka.

    England made a winning start to their tour of Sri Lanka by defeating the Board XI by an innings and 15 runs on the final day of the three-day match in Colombo on Saturday.

    "It was a tough three-day game, we were all battling the heat and humid conditions. I thought we played very well," said Swann who picked up 3 for 33 during the second innings.

    "The ball feels great in the hand. I am enjoying myself," he told reporters in Colombo.

    The tourists will play another three-day fixture at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo from March 20, before the two back-to-back Tests in Galle and Colombo.

    "We need to win the next warm-up game, so that we are geared to win the first Test," said Swann, who has 166 wickets in 39 Tests.

    He said Sri Lanka remained a formidable side, despite the home team busy playing back-to-back one-day games against Australia and now in Bangladesh for the Asia Cup.

    "Sri Lanka and Pakistan are fairly similar animals. Sri Lanka is more consistent, particularly their top order with [Kumar] Sangakkara and Mahela [Jayawardene]."

    But he said Sri Lanka's bowling attack was "not much of a mystery anymore" after the retirement of the world's leading wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan last April.

    Sri Lanka have not won a Test series since Muralitharan's retirement, losing series to England, Australia, Pakistan and South Africa.