Sri Lanka were 46 for 2 wickets, both run outs, particularly the crucial one of the inform skipper Dimuth Karunaratne (6), and Oshada Fernando (14), in a pendulum swinging second test that had reached a climaxing third day with the West Indies coming back from being dominated on the first day to turning the heat on the hosts for a first innings lead of 49 at the Galle International Stadium today. That the West Indians had literally taken the shine off the Lankan batting by claiming the prize wicket of the dangerous Karunaratne was indeed the big fish in the bag in terms of Kraigg Brathwaite’s men holding the initiative at the end of an eventful third day with the Lankan batting looking vulnerable with the Lankan skipper taken out. That his premature downfall was the result of erring in running between th wickets that came in a double toll as in the case of Fernando to the Lankan camp was a treacherous blow that has certainly put the onus on the rest of the Lankan batting to live up to expectations if they are to swing the match back Sri Lanka’s way. Those hopes would largely rest on overnight not out batsman Pathum Nissanka, who like Karunaratne, has had a good series run thus far remaining unbeaten on 21 off 53 balls together with Charith Asalanka on 4.
The West Indies finishing their first innings on 253 from an overnight 69 for 1 had much to do with the 5 wicket haul by Ramesh Mendis’ dizzy career best 6 for 70 on a day the hosts threatening 3 for 166 when skipper Kraigg Brathwaite fell for 72 bamboozled by a peach of a Lasith Embuldeniya delivery outfoxed him to disturb his middle stump for a top score of 77 inclusive of 9 boundaries. That was the turning point to Sri Lanka’s comeback. The West Indian total was propped up by Nkrumah Bonner 35 and Kyle Mayers 36.
Sri Lanka 204 (61.3 Overs) RR: 3.31
(Pathum Nissanka 73, Dimuth Karunaratne 42, Angelo Mathews 29, Suranga Lakmal 12, Charith Asalanka 10, Veerasammy Permaul 5/35, Jomel Warrican 4/50)
AND 46/2 (21 Overs) RR: 2.19
(Pathum Nissanka 21, Oshada Fernando 14, Charith Asalanka n.o. 4)
West Indies 69/1 O/, 253 (104.2 Overs) RR: 2.42
(Jermaine Blackwood 44, Kraigg Brathwaite 72, Kyle Mayers 36, Shai Hope 22, Veerasamy Perumal 15, Roston Chase 10, Nkrumah Bonner 35, , Ramesh Mendis 6/70, Praveen Jayawickrama 2/59, Lasith Embuldeniya 2/94)