Sri Lanka v West Indies 2nd Test, Day 1 Review: Advantage West Indies on an eventful day’s play

Sri Lanka v West Indies 2nd Test, Day 1 Review: Advantage West Indies on an eventful day’s play

Milinda Siriwardana
(© Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka v West Indies 2nd Test, Day 1 Review: Advantage West Indies on an eventful day’s play: On a quicker pitch with some live grass, the West Indies’ pace attack got their act together and demolished the Sri Lankan top order on the opening day of the 2nd Test at the P Sara Oval. Sri Lanka won the toss and the decision to bat first on this pitch backfired heavily. Milinda Siriwardana, however, repaired the early damage with his maiden half-century.

The hosts made two changes; Kusal Mendis made his debut in place of Lahiru Thirimanne and Dilruwan Perera came in for Tharindu Kaushal. For Windies left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican made his debut replacing fast bowler Shannon Gabriel.

The West Indies’ fast bowlers got extra bounce and zip and continued troubling the batsmen. Karunaratne could not repeat the heroics from the first Test and was out LBW to Holder for 13. He reviewed the decision but the tracker confirmed that the ball was hitting the leg stump.

The debutant Mendis was the next to go off in the next over. Kemar bowled a full one which was angled in and straighted outside off, Mendis had a loose waft at it and nicked it to Ramdin. The original decision was not out and the West Indies once again were spot on using the review. SL was struggling at 34/3. The 4th wicket to fall in the last over before lunch was the big one of Angelo Matthews. Holder had his opposite number caught in second slip by Brathwaite bowling just back of a length.

Sirwardana showed good composure and looked compact in defence and hammered the ball whenever possible. He hit Holder and Taylor over covers also slashing the debutant left-arm spinner behind point. He brought up his maiden fifty from 76 balls by dancing out and launching a straight six

Dinesh Chandimal played on for 25 and the hosts stumbled to 90 for 5. Chandimal had added 31 with Siriwardana and was removed by Taylor in his third over after lunch. With the two left-handers batting, Siriwardana and Kusal Perera, West Indies’ premier spinner Devendra Bishoo was held back and came in after 46 overs.

Warrican settled down quickly and bowled an uninterrupted 15-over spell after lunch. His reward came off a bad ball: Kusal Perera stepped out and gave a return catch off a full toss, becoming Warrican’s maiden Test victim. Dilruwan Perera was out stumped and Bishoo got his first wicket. Siriwardana was dropped by Hope at square leg off Bishoo however it did not cost the visitors much. Warrican removed Siriwardana with Taylor taking a fine catch at long off. The left-hander made a fighting 68 which included 6 fours and 2 maximums.

Warrican’s next wicket was that of Prasad, who was caught by Ramdin followed by Pradeep, who was out LBW. This made it a memorable debut for the left-arm spinner taking a four-for. Herath remained not out on 26. SL was bowled out for 200 and the visitors had wonderful day on the field.

The West Indian innings started similarly with Prasad removing Hope for 4 in the first over. Brathwaite and the night-watchman batted out the remaining overs and the Windies had reached a score of 17/1 from 5.2 overs when the umpires decided to go off due to bad light. West Indies’ slow over-rate contributed in the day ending 16.4 overs short.

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka 1st Innings – 200/10 (Siriwardana 68; Warrican 67/4)

West Indies 1st Innings – 17/1 (Bishoo 5*; Prasad 9/1)