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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

India vs Sri Lanka: Samarawickrama hands solid start to visitors in warm-up game

Sri Lanka openers come good, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Angelo Mathews slammed half-century as visitors declare at 411/6 against Board President’s XI

cricket Updated: Nov 11, 2017 22:33 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Sri Lanka batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama plays shot during their warm up match against Board President’s XI  in Kolkata.
Sri Lanka batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama plays shot during their warm up match against Board President’s XI in Kolkata.(PTI)

Next week will be a different test but if confidence of their batsmen is what Sri Lanka sought at the beginning of a long tour of India, they got it in good measure on Saturday. On an easy wicket made easier by mostly ordinary bowling, Sri Lanka declared at 411/6 on the first day of their two-day practice match at the Jadavpur University’s Salt Lake campus.

From the first ball of the day which Sadeera Samarawickrama firmly off-drove for three runs, Sri Lanka’s batsmen, barring Lahiru Thirimanne, got runs before retiring to make way for others. The runs came at a faster clip when medium-pacers Sandeep Warrier and Ravi Kiran were operating in tandem in the morning but through the day Sri Lanka trotted at around 4.5 runs per over.

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The openers played the first session and Dimuth Karunaratne was the first to retire at 50 to ensure Thirimanne got time in the middle. As they ensured there was no starting trouble, coach Nic Pothas took the rest for knockdowns and nets.

Not long after, Samarawickrama fell miscuing a hook off Avesh Khan having looked comfortable till one got big on him. Samarawickrama made 74 off 77 balls with 13 fours. Khan, 20, showed a good bouncer which he used judiciously. The bowler from Indore was rewarded for perseverance with the wicket of Dhananjaya de Silva, caught at slip by substitute Anmolpreet Singh.

Samarawickrama’s dismissal got Angelo Mathews to the crease and after Thirimanne was out, caught at slip by Jiwanjot Singh off leg-spinner Akash Bhandari, he was joined by skipper Dinesh Chandimal. Mathews too got a half-century and that should be good news for the visiting team because their former captain is returning from a calf injury.

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What will perhaps please them more is that Mathews was comfortable using his feet to spinners. He played 93 balls and hit six fours and retired on 54, one run after being dropped by Jiwanjot, off Saxena. After retiring, Mathews went for a net session.

Niroshan Dickwella (retired on 53) and Dilruwan Perera too milked the bowling after Board President XI skipper Sanju Samson won the toss and asked Sri Lanka to bat. Dickwella returned after Suranga Lakmal was out and made 73 off 57 balls at stumps called two overs early.