Samson's 128 frustrates SL, tour match ends in draw
Kolkata: Skipper Sanju Samson stood out with a sublime 128 to lead Board President's XI fightback against visiting Sri Lanka as their two-day tour match ended in a draw in Kolkata.
In reply to Sri Lanka's 411/9 declared, the Board President's XI were struggling at 31/2 after lunch on Sunday, but Samson patiently built his innings and helped his side reach 287/5 when both captains agreed on a stalemate after 75 overs.
During his 143-ball knock, Samson hit 19 fours and one six.
Appointed skipper on the eve of the match after Naman Ojha was ruled out with an injury, the Kerala youngster showed big match temperament as he took on the Sri Lankan Test attack with ease.
Samson anchored the Board innings with three useful partnerships of 68, 71 and 85 runs with Jiwanjot Singh (35), Rohan Prem (39) and Bavanaka Sandeep (33) respectively.
On a track that offered little help to bowlers, Sri Lanka ended up using 10 bowlers, including regular wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella, who bowled the last over of the match.
Ace allrounder Angelo Mathews, who is recovering from a calf injury that forced him out of the entire Pakistan series, however was not seen bowling his medium pacers.
Bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake said Mathews would not bowl in the upcoming three Test series beginning at Eden Gardens on November 16.
"He will not be used as a bowler as we have enough options for the bowling allroudners' slot," Ratnayake said.
On a frustrating day for the Lankan attack, it was their new-ball bowler Lahiru Gamage, who was most effective en route to his 2/41.