Pacers help Windies nose ahead

Cricket Sports News

Shared News • Last updated on Mon, 25 Jun, 2018, 07:31 AM

Shannon Gabriel led the Windies attack again as the hosts reduced Sri Lanka to 99 for 5 on the second day of the final Test.


Windies came roaring back in the contest as Sri Lanka crumbled against some quality fast bowling in the final session of the second day to hand the hosts the advantage in the third and final Test in Barbados on Sunday (June 24). After making some significant progress in the second session, Sri Lanka stuttered under lights and ended the day on 99 for 5, still 105 behind the 204 posted by the hosts.

Sri Lanka had a disastrous start to the final session as they lost three wickets for just 10 runs to slip from 75 for 2 to 85 for 5. It all started with Shannon Gabriel castling Kusal Mendis before Danushka Gunathilaka was trapped in front by Jason Holder and then Dhananjaya de Silva fell leg before to Gabriel. All the good work done by Mendis and Gunathilaka in the second session was reduced to nothing in just the space of five overs.


While Kusal Perera flashed at a wide ball and was caught behind, Mahela Udawatte struggled for 18 deliveries before he was sent back by Kemar Roach. That’s when Gunathilaka and Mendis got together to repair the damage. Windies found it tough as the duo showed some exceptional application against their quality bowling to take the team forward. Their unbeaten half-century stand took Sri Lanka to 75 for 2, just 129 shy of Windies’ total. At that stage, Sri Lanka must have entertained hopes of batting the Windies out of the game before it all came crashing down.

Earlier in the day, slight drizzle delayed the start of proceedings but bright blue skies welcomed the teams for the crucial session. With the old pink ball not offering much movement, Sri Lanka had to bank on the bounce on offer and the two-paced nature of the track. They kept probing but both Shane Dowrich and Holder rode their luck to survive the first hour.

Holder, particularly, lived a charmed life as edges either went away from the fielders or fell short during his 123-ball stay. Starting on 132 for 5, Windies needed the set duo to carry on and lift the team out of trouble. They did just that with Holder scoring more freely after starting from his overnight score of 33. He registered his seventh Test half-century to take the team forward while Dowrich held one end up.

The ‘keeper-batsman fell first, when he was trapped plumb in front by Lahiru Kumara in the 56th over. Windies had 168 on the board then but lost two more quick wickets – of Devendra Bishoo and Holder – to slip to 189 for 8. Roach and Miguel Cummins pushed the total past 200 to frustrate the visitors even more before they were eventually shot down for a modest score.

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