Samson century helps Board President's XI salvage draw

Last Updated: Sun, Nov 12, 2017 18:09 hrs

Kolkata: Indian Board President's XI skipper Sanju Samson led from the front with a fine century against Sri Lanka as the two-day warm-up match ended in a tie.

After Sri Lanka accumulated 411 on the first day at the Jadavpur University campus ground in Kolkata, Samson presented his case for a Test call-up with a scintillating ton as Sri Lanka failed to force a result.​

Samson struck a century in India's strong response with the bat on Sunday. The wicket-keeper batsman's knock of 128 came off 143 balls and included 19 boundaries and a six.

Tanmay Agarwal and Jiwanjot Singh gave Board Presidents XI a decent start but Sri Lanka struck early.

Lahiru Thirimane gave the visitors an early breakthrough by trapping Agarwal and soon removed Akash Bhandari to reduced BPXI to 39/2.

However, Samson and Jiwanjot rebuild the innings and resisted Sri Lanka's attack with Samson being the aggressor.

Both the batsmen made sure that they respect the good balls and although Jiwanjot's strike-rate was below 50, it was Samson who was scoring quick runs.

Samson and Jiwanjot ensured BPXI don't lose further wickets and entered Lunch with 372 runs still behind.

Soon after Lunch, Dilruwan Perera broke the stand as Jiwanjot was caught fishing outside the off-stump.

Meanwhile, Samson brought up his half-century but Sri Lanka kept chipping away as Dhananjaya de Silva trapped Rohan Prem. BPXI entered Tea break at 203/4 with Samson holding one end and nearing his century.

Minutes after the tea break, Samson brought up his century to keep the visitors at bay. Sadeera Samarawickrama finally cut short Samson's innings but his 128 helped BPXI salvage a draw.

With the final hour of play coming up, B Sandeep and Jalaj Saxena had to play sensibly and the dup did exactly that to help BPXI salvage a draw.

Earlier, 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.

Opener Sadeera 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.

Kerala medium-pacer Sandeep Warrier returned best figures of 2/60 with leg-spinner 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 right-hander 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 wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella struck a quickfire 38-ball 53 before retiring while all-rounder 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.

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