WI vs SL, 3rd Test, Day 1, Review: Sri Lanka on the front foot in the pink ball Test
West Indies were down to 53/5 early in the morning.
Updated - Jun 24, 2018 11:37 am
Amidst all the controversies that took place in the 2nd Test, the third and final match of the series between West Indies and Sri Lanka finally kicked off. Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal was banned from this game hence, Suranga Lakmal assumed the responsibilities of leading the team. Also, Akila Dananjaya was left out and Gunathilaka was roped into the side in his place.
West Indies, on the other hand, went in with an unchanged XI. Furthermore, this is only the 2nd pink dukes ball Test that is being played. On a pitch which had loads of grass on it, Windies skipper Jason Holder opted to bat first after winning the toss. All the players seemed to be extremely excited about being the part of first ever Pink ball Test match on home soil.
Windies batsmen falter on a rain-affected day, Sri Lanka bowlers make the most of the conditions
Many were left puzzled when Holder opted to bat first. The pitch had a lot of pace in it. Being a pink ball game, a lot of movement was expected. The weather conditions were overcast helping the fast bowlers’ cause further. The Sri Lanka bowlers exploited these conditions perfectly on the first day gaining an upper hand in the game. There was a lot of pace and swing on offer and they terrified the Windies batsmen in no time.
Devon Smith, in his comeback series, has largely failed to impress. In this game, he was dismissed right in the first over after scoring two runs. A quick bouncer from Lakmal got him into an awkward position as he edged the ball to third slip. Soon, Kraigg Brathwaite was also dismissed by Lakmal after he scored two runs. Lahiru Kumara, who was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers in this series joined the party as he sent back Kieran Powell and the Windies were down to 8/3 before there was a rain interruption.
After the interruption, Kasun Rajitha picked the big fish, Shai Hope as he edged one to Kusal Mendis at second slip. Further, he also picked the wicket of Roston Chase putting West Indies in all sorts of problems. They were down to 53/5 and things were looking really grim.
Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder come to the rescue
Just as Windies were looking to face an embarrassment, wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich and skipper Jason Holder came to the rescue. These two applied themselves beautifully in the middle and were very patient. They lashed on to the loose deliveries and ensured that another wicket didn’t go down before stumps.
Dowrich, at the end of the day, remained not out on 60 runs while Holder was batting with 33 runs. They added 79 runs together and this partnership will be crucial for West Indies going into the second day of the game. Only 46.3 overs were bowled on the day.
West Indies: 132/5 in 46.3 overs (Dowrich 60*, Holder 33*, Rajitha 2/36)