Sri Lanka achieved its primary objective of giving its batsmen some quality time in the middle as it rode on four half-centuries to score a confidence-boosting 411 for six declared on the first day of its two-day warm-up match against Board President's XI at the Jadavpur University ground here on Saturday.
At least six of the Sri Lankan batsmen spent more than 60 minutes on the pitch and faced a minimum of 60 deliveries each as the touring side utilised the opportunity in a well-planned manner after being inserted in.
The opening duo of Sadeera Samarawickrama (74 off 77balls, 13x4) and Dimuth Karunaratne (50 off 62, 7x4) built a 133-run stand before the latter, who displayed caution before switching mode, retired on reaching his half-century.
Samarawickrama was the most impressive of the Lankan batters. Mixing discipline with his aggressive stroke play, the youngster, who made his Test debut against Pakistan a month ago, exhibited his perfect timing and placement. Presenting a straight bat, he chose the region between mid-off and the stumps to gather some attractive boundaries along the ground.
Samarawickrama was the first wicket to fall. He hooked a hard-working Avesh Khan to be caught at deep fine leg before lunch.
Angelo Mathews, who returned for the series after nursing a calf muscle injury, and captain Dinesh Chandimal (29 off 65, 2x4) practised the trade of applying oneself and rotating the strike. Mathews' knock was also dotted with some lusty blows to the fence.
Chandimal retired before the tea break, while Mathews, who was dropped on 42 off off-spinner Jalaj Saxena, stayed indoors after tea.
Niroshan Dickwella played an attacking innings and showcased some improvisation before calling it quits on 53. He returned after the departure of Suranga Lakmal to add 20 more and stayed unbeaten on 73 (59b, 13x4).
Dilruwan Perera (48 off 44, 6x4, 2x6) also used the chance to get some confidence.
Notwithstanding their time spent in the middle, the Lankan batsmen remained busy at the nets throughout the day in preparation for the first Test, where they will have to tackle with the potent Indian attack including the match-winning spin pair of R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Among the Board bowlers, speedster Avesh Khan worked up good pace and occasionally tested the Lankan batsmen. Sandeep Warrier was on target to take two wickets in the final session.
The encouragement for spinners Jalaj and leg-spinner Akash Bhandari, who bowled longer spells, was few and far between as Sri Lanka gathered runs at a healthy rate.