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Sri Lanka start tour of India on a positive


Sri Lanka started their tour of India on a positive note with four batsmen scoring half-centuries on the first day of the two-day warm-up game against India’s Board President’s XI in Kolkata.

At stumps Sri Lanka declared their innings on 411 for 6 in 88 overs.

There were contributions from Sadeera Samarawickrama, who made a strong case for the opening slot by top-scoring with 74 and Niroshan Dickwella, who retired on 53 before resuming in the 80th over and went on to score an unbeaten 73.

Sanju Samson, the Board President’s XI captain, won the toss and opted to bowl first, but the Lankans made a strong start courtesy Samarawickrama and Dimuth Karunaratne.

Both openers hit half-centuries during their 134-run stand in just 23.3 overs before Samarawickrama, who made his Test debut against Pakistan in Dubai last month, fell to Avesh Khan. Karunaratne retired after scoring 50.

With two new batsmen, Lahiru Thirimane and Angelo Mathews, in the middle, the run rate dipped.

Thirimanne perished for 17 and Sri Lanka Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal retired after a patient 29.

Mathews, who missed the entire series against Pakistan due to a calf strain, got some much-needed time out in the middle as he scored 54, before retiring at tea with Sri Lankan on 254 for 2.

Jalaj Saxena struck soon after the break, removing Dasun Shanaka cheaply, but Dilruwan Perera and Dickwella ensured the Lankans crossed the 300-run mark.

Once Dickwella retired after his half-century, Dilruwan made 48 and Roshen Silva managed 36 not out to keep the innings chugging.

It was only after Sri Lanka lost the sixth wicket that Dickwella walked out to bat again and went on to score 73, as Sri Lanka declared after crossing 400.