Sanju Samson walks the talk with century against Sri Lanka in warm-up game

Nov 13, 2017, 13:39 IST | Ankur Dhawan

Putting his money where his mouth is, Sanju Samson struck a sparkling century on Day Two of the warm-up fixture, here at the Jadavpur University campus ground against Sri Lanka

Putting his money where his mouth is, Sanju Samson struck a sparkling century on Day Two of the warm-up fixture, here at the Jadavpur University campus ground against Sri Lanka. Prior to the match, Samson had said that the two-day warm-up fixture may be just a diurnal routine for the experienced Sri Lankan cricketers, but for his young Board President's XI team, it was an ideal platform to showcase their talent. Lending credence to his comments, Samson bailed his team out of choppy waters after they lost two early wickets to the medium pace of Lahiru Thirimanne. Wicketkeeper-batsman Samson was given a reprieve when he was on nought, but thereafter looked untroubled by any of the bowlers.

Sanju Samson celebrates his century in the warm-up tie v Sri Lanka yesterday. Pic/PTI
Sanju Samson celebrates his century in the warm-up tie v Sri Lanka yesterday. Pic/PTI

He maintained a healthy strike-rate through his 143-ball 128 — his second century in red-ball cricket this month. The first, a knock of 112, came in his last Ranji Trophy encounter for Kerala against Jammu and Kashmir. None of the other batsmen for the Board President's XI surpassed fifty, as the home team finished on 287 for 5 in response to Sri Lanka's 411. For the visitors, the only player to not have a bowl was wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella. Curiously, Angelo Mathews, known to be a reluctant red-ball bowler owing to injuries, was introduced as the first change after Thirimanne and Dimuth Karunaratne opened proceedings. But bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake clarified later that Mathews will play the Test series purely as a batsman. "Angelo has not bowled in a Test series for a while. I don't think he will bowl. He will come in as a batsman. We take him as a white ball bowler," said coach Ratnayake. Mathews last bowled in a Test against South Africa in Johannesburg 10 months ago.

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