Sri Lankans sparkle on day one

Sri Lankans sparkle on day one

Four batsmen scored half-centuries to take Sri Lanka to 411 for six on day one of their two-day warm-up against Board President's XI here on Saturday.

Sadeera Samarawickrama geared up for a potential opening slot with a stroke-filled 74 off 77 balls and shared a 133-run stand with Dimuth Karunaratne (50 retired) as Sri Lanka declared at the end of day's play after being put into bat by Board President's XI skipper Sanju Samson.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, who retired on 53, resumed his innings after the dismissal of Suranga Lakmal (3) in the 80th over and lit up the proceedings in the final session with an unbeaten 73 off 59 balls. His innings was studded with 13 boundaries.

Comeback-man Angelo Mathews (54 retired) also struck a half-century while No 8 Dilruwan Perera (48 from 44) too enjoyed his time in the middle against an ordinary bowling attack before bad light stopped play after 88 overs.

Sri Lanka's upcoming players like Samarawickrama showed promise with fluent shots all round at the Jadavpur University second campus ground in Salt Lake.

Samarawickrama, who made his Test debut in the second and final Test against Pakistan in Dubai last month, faced the first delivery and showed his positive intent with a fluent off drive. The in-form left-handed opener Karunaratne, fresh from a career-best 196 against Pakistan in the second Test last month, gave fine support at the other end as the duo gave the team a brisk start with 102 in 16 overs.

Samarawickrama looked exquisite with his stroke-making as he drove and cut with equal ease. He was also not afraid to step out to the spin duo of Jalaj Saxena and Akash Bhandari and completed his fifty off 46 balls, while his senior opening partner Karunaratne got to the mark in 62 balls before retiring in the 23rd over.

In the next over, Samarawickrama miscued a hook off Avesh Khan and was caught at fine-leg.

All-rounder Angelo Mathews, who is making a comeback after sustaining a calf injury in September that ruled him out of the entire Pakistan series, also looked in rhythm in his 93-ball effort before retiring at tea. The only blip was when he was dropped on 53 by Jiwanjot Singh at slip before the tea break.

Sri Lankan skipper Chandimal retired on 29 and opted for some throwdowns at the adjacent nets.

Of the Board bowlers, pace Avesh Khan returned figures of 1/68 after an 11-over spell. Pacer Sandeep Warrier and legspinner Akash Bhandari claimed two wickets each.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 411/6 (Sadeera Samarawickrama 74, Dimuth Karunaratne 50, Angelo Mathews 54, Niroshan Dickwella 73 n.o, Dilruwan Perera 48, Roshen Silva 36 n.o; Sandeep Warrier 2-60, Akash Bhandari 2-111) vs Board President's XI.

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