Sri Lanka were 250 for 8 wickets and trailing the West Indies by 103 runs on a rain marred third day that permitted only 42.1 overs of play with Pathum Nissanka unbeaten on 49 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua yesterday. Nissanka, the first test debut centurion remained Sri Lanka’s only hope to reduce the big deficit with just the 2 wickets remaining with Lasith Embuldeniya unbeaten on nought having sparred 11 deliveries to stumps. Nissanka once again played a defiant, 119-ball sheet anchor role hitting 4 boundaries.
Commencing from the overnight 136 for 3, Sri Lanka suffered the setback of losing Dinesh Chandimal who added 10 runs to his overnight 34 before hooking and mistiming a rising delivery from Gabriel to spoon a catch to substitute fielder H.R. Walsh – 152 for 4. The biggest setback was the questionable LBW decision that went against Dhananjaya de Silva off a turning delivery by Blackwood that replays clearly suggested was not going to hit the stumps when he was 39. It was to further reduce Sri Lanka to 5 for 177 that led to a rot setting in with the sixth wicket that of Niroshan Dickwella falling with the total 203 caught by Da Silva off Holder for 20 as the West Indies on the heels of it went on to claim a seventh wicket that of Suranga Lakmal for 6 caught by Brathwaite off Joseph making it 214 for 7. Dushmantha Chameera did lend Pathum Nissanka support to adding 17 for the eighth wicket digging in for 26 deliveries for 2 before being dismissed by Holder to a catch by Da Silva – 231 for 8.
WEST INDIES 354 (111.1 Overs) RR: 3.18
(Kraigg Brathwaite 126, Rahkeem Cornwall 73, Kyle Mayers 49, Jason Holder 30, Alzarri Joseph 29, Suranga Lakmal 4/94, Dushmantha Chameera 3/69))
SRI LANKA 250/8 (103.1 Overs) RR: 2.42
(Lahiru Thirimanne 55, Pathum Nissanka n.o. 49, Dinesh Chandimal 44, Dhananjaya de Silva 39, Niroshan Dickwella 20, Oshada Fernando 18, Jason Holder 2/39, Alzarri Joseph 2/64)
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-