West Indies struggle to save second Test

 23 Oct 2015 - 18:39

West Indies struggle to save second Test
Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis hits a boundary during the second day of their second test cricket match against West Indies in Colombo October 23, 2015.

 

Colombo: Sri Lanka stretched their lead to 113 over West Indies Friday as they followed up a clinical bowling performance with a solid start to their second innings in a low-scoring Test in Colombo.

The opener Kaushal Silva was unbeaten on 31 and Dinesh Chandimal was not out on five as the visitors finished the second day of the final Test at the P. Sara Oval on 76-2.

Responding to their hosts' first innings total of 200, the tourists were all out in the last ball of the afternoon session for just 163 after pace bowler Dhammika Prasad took four for 34.

"Our plan was to bowl them out for less than 200 and it worked," Prasad said.

"All the bowlers bowled well. I was more interested in the team doing well than taking my fifth wicket. We did not want to allow a lead to the West Indies," he said.

And having wrested the initiative away from the tourists, Sri Lanka then drove home their advantage as debutant Kusal Mendis justified the faith of the selectors with an entertaining innings of 39.

The opener Dimuth Karunaratne was out first ball of the innings, caught by a diving Devendra Bishoo, after flicking uppishly at a ball by Jerome Taylor, but 20-year-old Mendis showed few sign of nerves.

Hitting seven fours, Mendis became the second wicket to fall, caught behind off Jomel Warrican with the total on 55.

Silva and Chandimal then saw out the remaining 10 overs to leave the hosts well placed to clinch the series following their innings victory in the first Test in Colombo.

None of the West Indies batsmen passed the 50 mark in their first innings, with opener Kraigg Brathwaite top-scoring with 47.

"It was a good pitch," said Brathwaite. "But the Sri Lankan bowlers bowled really well. Spinners got good purchase."

After resuming in the morning on 17-1, few of the West Indies batsmen ever looked comfortable and found runs harder to get as the day wore on -- struggling in particular to score off the miserly Rangana Herath.

Between lunch and tea, the tourists lost six wickets for the addition of 86 runs.

Prasad led the way with his four wickets but he was well backed up by Dilruwan Perera who finished with 3 for 28 while left arm spinner Milinda Siriwardana also chipped in with 2 for 26.

Play began half an hour late due to a soggy outfield caused by heavy overnight rains. Although the light was gloomy at the start, it had improved significantly by the afternoon.

The tourists have never won a Test match in Sri Lanka in 10 previous attempts.

AFP