Brathwaite, Holder put West Indies ahead; set tall chase for Sri Lanka

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite fell short of a second century on Thursday but helped his team to a commanding position after the fourth day of the second Test against Sri Lanka.

Brathwaite followed his 126 in the West Indies’ first innings of 354 with 85 which, along with half-centuries to Kyle Mayers and Jason Holder, allowed him to declare his team’s second innings at 280-4, a lead of 376.


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Brathwaite called his batsmen in just before Stumps, giving the West Indies around 38 minutes to bowl at Sri Lanka before the close of day’s play. Holder was left unbeaten on 71, having shared a late 53-run partnership with Joshua da Silva who was 20 not out.

Captain Dimuth Karunaratne (11) and Lahiru Thirimanne (17) guided Sri Lanka through nine overs to 29-0 but trail by 347 runs.

 

Brathwaite was “obviously disappointed” to be out close to a second century in the match but happy with his team’s performance.

“We wanted to get a few overs in this evening when it’s a tough period for the openers to bat,” he said.

“The wickets didn’t materialize but I think the runs on the board are good.

“It won’t be easy, the pitch is decent so we’ve go to work hard tomorrow. It would be great (to win) and go up the Test rankings but we’ve got to take care of session by session.”

Sri Lanka had begun the day at 250-8 in its first innings, 104 runs behind the West Indies. The home side took just over three overs to wrap up the innings at 258 and take a first innings lead of 96 runs.


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Pathum Nissanka, poised on 49 overnight, completed his half- century off 123 deliveries. But he was out soon after for 51, caught by wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva from the bowling of Kemar Roach and the Sri Lanka innings lasted only three more deliveries before Vishwa Fernando was the last man out.

Bearing the heavy weight of the deficit, Sri Lanka made an early breakthrough in the West Indies second innings when it dismissed opener John Campbell, caught by wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella from the bowling of Suranga Lakmal for 10.

An element of contention arose from the following ball when Jermaine Blackwood, batting up the order in place of the injured Nkrumah Bonner, appeared to have been trapped lbw by Lakmal.

The on-field umpire rejected Sri Lanka’s appeal and the television replay showed the ball hitting a chunk of leg stump. But under the DRS system the umpire’s call is favoured and Blackwood survived.


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He had another let-off when he was 7 and was dropped by Lahiru Thirimanne at first slip off Vishwa Fernando.

Brathwaite was fortune to survive a run-out chance minutes earlier. He was well short of his ground when the throw from the outfield was relayed to Dhananjaya de Silva at the non-striker’s end but Dhananjaya was unable to control the ball and take off the bails.

Blackwood was 18 when he was caught by Dickwella from Dushmantha Chameera, giving the Sri Lanka wicketkeeper his seventh catch of the match.

Mayers also benefited from the quirks of the DRS system when he survived Dhananjaya’s lbw appeal in the 29th over. The umpire again turned down Sri Lanka and the television replay showed the ball hitting the off bail.


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Mayers went on to a half-century from 63 balls, with eight boundaries, before eventually falling lbw to Lakmal for 55. In this case, he couldn’t be saved by the review after the on-field decision of out and replays showed the ball hitting middle stump.

Brathwaite reached his 21st half-century from 137 balls and looked set to reach centuries in both innings when he went on to 85. But at that point, he played an unusually casual shot to a ball from Chameera angled into middle and off. Seeking to work the ball to square leg, he missed entirely and the delivery passed through his shot to hit the stumps.

Holder hurried West Indies towards a declaration with his half-century from 69 balls.

 

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thhindu.com

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