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By Author Cricket-21 Team

Windies 204 (Jason Holder 74, Shane Dowrich 71; Lahiru Kumara 4-58) lead Sri Lanka 99/5 (Kemar Roach 2-13, Shanon Gabriel 2-42) by 105 runs.

Two good spells from the Windies pacers at the start of the second and third session of day two reduced Sri Lanka to 99/5, still trailing by 105 runs. The Sri Lankan batsmen had two overs to survive before tea at the start of their innings.

Kusal Perera was able to comfortably see out the first over, a maiden from Kemar Roach. Mahela Udawatte at the other end though had to do a lot to survive Gabriel’s opening burst The pacer’s first ball squared him up and the edge fell just short of Devon Smith at first slip. Two balls later he survived a Windies review for LBW. Sri Lanka went into tea without scoring a run.

Two balls after tea, Kemar Roach got the first Sri Lankan wicket. Kusal Perera was dismissed, caught behind for his second duck this series. He attempted to push a short delivery, but the ball held its line and took a thin inside edge to the keeper.

The second wicket wasn’t too far away for Roach. Udawatte looked uneasy, both Roach and Gabriel were able to beat his outside edge consistently. Five overs after tea, Roach trapped Udawatte LBW to leave Sri Lanka 16/2. 

Bowling from around the wicket to the left-hander, Roach angled one in from wide of the crease, hitting his back pad. The umpire looked confident making what looked like a tight call. Udawatte wanted to review but he was out of time before he could make a decision.

The next pair of Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis put on a spirited effort to take the visitors to 75/2 in 25 overs, but both batsmen were given a reprieve. Kusal Mendis edged a back-of-length delivery from Miguel Cummins, but none of the slip fielders reacted as the ball flew over them to the boundary. Cummins later dismissed Gunathilaka, only for the replay to show that he overstepped. 

Sri Lanka went into the dinner break at 75/2 but soon after they came out they were reduced to 85/5. Kusal Mendis, Sri Lanka’s top scorer this series was the first to go in just the second over after Dinner.

He was dismissed, bowled by Gabriel in his first ball of the third session. It was an uncharacteristic shot, Mendis who had been the most patient of Sri Lankan batsmen this series swung wildly outside off, only to drag the ball back on to the stumps.

The pressure was back on the visitors. Jason Holder followed up Gabriel by picking up a wicket of his own in the next over, that of Danushka Gunathilaka. From around the wicket, Holder got one to swing wildly into the left-hander and trap him on the front foot. 

Initially, umpire Richard Kettleborough did not look convinced, but Holder took the review and the decision was overturned. 

Dhananjaya de Silva was completely beaten for pace by Gabriel, he was trapped in the crease trying to play a drive, but the ball moved just enough to hit the back pad.  Sri Lanka were 85/5 in 30.1 overs, Niroshan Dickwella joined Roshen Silva at the crease. The Windies continued to keep the pressure for another five overs till a break in play was called for.

As soon as drinks was taken at the end of the 36th over rains started to appear, and about 50 minutes later umpires called for the end of day’s play.

Earlier in the day, the Sri Lankan bowlers kept probing despite the old pink ball not offering too much movement. They banked on the bounce and the two-paced nature of the track to trouble both batsman who were living a dangerous life

Edges went either way of the fielders especially off Holder’s bat. Lahiru Kumara was the most impressive of the Sri Lankan bowlers, picking his third successive four wicket haul this series. Shane Dowrich could only add 11 runs to his overnight score of 60, he was dismissed LBW by Kumara. 

On the way to his 71 Dowrich became the highest scorer as a wicket keeper-batsman in a day/night Test match. 

Kumara did well to end the 115 partnership between Holder and Dowrich. This is the second time this series that they managed a partnership over 50 for the sixth wicket. Just before Dowrich’s wicket, Holder got to his 7th fifty in Tests, later on it took a brilliant catch from Dilruwan Perera at gully to dismiss the Windies captain for 71. 

The last four did not contribute much, they added just 15 runs before the home team were bundled out for 204.

The Windies will look to the opportunity at hand and hope to get Sri Lanka all out in the first session of Day three when they will start at 99/5.

Photo Credit - CWI Media/Randy Brooks of Brooks Latouche Photography




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