SRI LANKAN BATSMEN MAKE MERRY ON A DOCILE PITCH
Opener Samarawickrama scored a breezy knock of 74 against the Board President’s X1.
Sri Lanka batsmen made merry against a docile bowling attack by Board President’s XI, posting 411/6 declared at stumps on the first day of their two-day warm-up tie at the Jadavpur University campus ground here on Saturday.
O p e n e r S a d e e r a Samarawickrama ( 74 off 77; 13x4) top- scored for the tourists, who tackled the third- string Board President› s XI bowlers with ease with as many as four batsmen scoring half centuries.
At the end of play, Niroshan Dickwella was batting on 73 with Roshen Silva for company on 36.
Kerala medium- pacer Sandeep Warrier returned best figures of 2/60 with legspinner Akash Bhandari also bagging two wickets.
What should augur well for the Dinesh Chandimal-led side is the fact that fit-again Angelo Mathews got back into the groove although he was not very fluent during his 93-ball 54.
The former captain, who could not take part in the recent Pakistan series due to a calf injury, hit six fours and also got a reprieve on 53 when Jiwanjot Singh dropped him at first slip off Jalaj Saxena›s bowling just before tea. Mathews retired after the break.
Before Mathews, openers Samarawickrama and Dimuth Karunaratne got off to a good start, engineering a 134-run stand for the first wicket.
Samarawickrama looked good for his fluent 74 off just 77 balls, his innings studded with 13 fours before Avesh Khan removed the righthander who tried to hook the Madhya Pradesh pacer to fine-leg where Tanmay Agarwal took the catch.
Karunaratne hit seven boundaries before retiring on a 62-ball 50 while Lahiru Thirimanne ( 17) missed out on a big score, leggie Bhandari getting his wicket.
Chandimal -- in the thick of runs coming into the India series having amassed 224 runs in four innings against Pakistan at an average of 74.67 -- took his time in the middle playing 65 balls for his 29 before retiring. The big-hitting wicketkeeperbatsman Niroshan Dickwella struck a quickfire 38-ball 53 before retiring while allrounder Dilruwan Perera tonked a couple of sixes en route his 44-ball 48 before Warrier got his wicket.
Dickwella was back towards the end of the day to continue his surge and end the day unbeaten on 73 off just 59 balls.
Warrier›s second scalp was the promising Dhananjaya De Silva who could manage only 10 off 17 balls. Pacer Suranga Lakmal went for three with Bhandari getting him trapped in front. Saxena also got a wicket, that of Dasun Shanaka who contributed just two runs to the total. Brief scores: Sri Lanka 411/6 decl (Sadeera Samarawickrama 74, Niroshan Dickwella 73 not out, Angelo Mathews 54, Dimuth Karunaratne 50; Sandeep Warrier 2/60).