Sri Lanka was on the brink of victory with the West Indies reeling on 52 for 6 wickets requiring 348 to win at the end of the fourth day’s play of the first test match at the Galle International Stadium on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka’s all-spin attack of Ramesh Mendis 4 for 17 and Lasith Embuldeniya 2 for 18 set forth swiftly dismantling the West Indians after skipper Dimuth Karunaratne had declared the Lankan second innings at 191 for 4 declared off 40.5 overs. It left the West Indies staring at certain defeat barring the unpredictable rain in Galle with the Lankans set to polish it off.
The visitors fell apart to the Lankan skipper’s all-spin attack of Mendis and Embuldeniya with the highest a batsman could offer being Nkrumah Bonner’s unbeaten 18 off 47 balls with Joshua Da Silva unbeaten on 15.
After claiming the West Indies final wicket in just 15 minutes of play, Sri Lanka’s second innings was built around another typical captain’s knock of 83 by Karunaratne off 104 balls containing 9 boundaries while former captain veteran batsman Angelo Mathews came into his own with a timely unbeaten 69 filled with 6 boundaries and 2 sixes sharing in a 123-run third wicket partnership with Karunaratne following the early 2 for 39 setback of losing Pathum Nissanka for 3 and Oshada Fernando for 14. With Mathews was Dinesh Chandimal on 10 when the declaration was enforced.
Sri Lanka 386 and 191/4 decl (40.5 Overs) RR: 4.67
(Dimuth Karunaratne 83, Angelo Mathews n.o. 69, Oshada Fernando 14, Dinesh Chandimal n.o. 10, Jomel Warrican 2/42, Rahkeem Cornwall 2/60)
West Indies 230
And 52/6 (25.3 Overs) RR: 2.01
(Nkrumah Bonner n.0. 18, Joshua Da Silva n.o. 15, Ramesh Mendis 4/17, Lasith Embuldeniys 2/18)