Oct 25, 2015 Sports
ESPNcricinfo – Part-time offspinner Kraigg Brathwaite, who had managed only three wickets in 81 first-class matches before this Test, claimed figures of 11.3-4-29-6 to run through Sri Lanka’s middle and lower order,
but contrasting forties from Milinda Siriwardana and Angelo Mathews set the visitors a target of 244. However, Brathwaite then got out for a scratchy 3, minutes before scheduled tea as rain ended the session and eventually the day with West Indies still 224 away from their target.
With the pitch starting to play more tricks, West Indies face the prospect of delivering their best batting performance of the series for them to draw level with Sri Lanka. Brathwaite’s struggle with the bat continued. He was pinned lbw by a Dhammika Prasad incoming ball, after surviving two loud appeals on 0 – one for lbw and the other for a catch down the leg side.
The other opener, Shai Hope, also survived an lbw appeal, on 11, but the on-field call of not out prevailed because of umpire’s call, after Mathews had reviewed the decision. Hope stayed unbeaten on 17 off 28 balls before rain interrupted.
Despite the regular loss of wickets, Sri Lanka were earlier pushed ahead by a busy 67-run partnership between Siriwardana and Mathews.
If Kaushal Silva’s 105-ball vigil was boundaryless, Siriwardana’s second and third scoring shots were caressed past the covers for fours. He clouted Jomel Warrican over midwicket and to the cow corner for a four and six, and then sent Devendra Bishoo straight down the ground for another six. By then the lead had crossed 150. Bishoo got alarming turn but erred short, as he has been throughout the series, allowing Mathews to settle down.
Mathews wedged the ball into the gaps, and was the ninth Sri Lanka batsman dismissed, off Brathwaite for 46, falling short of his fifth fifty-plus score in five Tests at the P Sara Oval. Dilruwan Perera nicked to slip the next ball, giving Brathwaite his sixth wicket, and Jermaine Blackwood his fifth catch.
West Indies had also begun well before ceding the stage to Siriwardana and Mathews. Warrican found the outside edge of Dinesh Chandimal’s bat in the first over of the day, but it snuck away to the right of Denesh Ramdin and did not carry to slip either.
It was not long before Silva’s bubble burst as he played against the turn, lobbing a catch straight to Blackwood at slip. Two balls later, Jerome Taylor removed Chandimal with an inducker, Ramdin taking a sharp catch flinging himself to his left.
Brathwaite followed it with another double-strike. He first got one to spin away from round the wicket and nipped out Siriwardana. He then struck at the stroke of lunch, having Kusal Perera forcing an edge behind to leave the hosts six down for 165.
Herath came out swinging after lunch, hitting reverse-sweeps as well as orthodox sweeps in a 30-run stand with Mathews. Brathwaite, however, polished Sri Lanka off, the last four wickets tumbling for 11 runs.
Scores: West Indies 20 for 1 (Hope 17*) and 163 need 224 runs to beat Sri Lanka 200 and 206 (Mathews 46, Brathwaite 6-29).
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