Dominant West Indies looking for first victory in Sri Lanka
Galle, Sri Lanka – West Indies will be going after their first win on Sri Lanka soil when the 1st ERI Test match resumes on Friday. After four days, the Windies have completely dominated the home side and will be looking to go all out in the final day. Play will resume at 9.45 am (12.15 am Eastern Caribbean Time/11.15 pm Thursday Jamaica Time).
Sri Lanka closed penultimate day on 89-0 in the second innings when rain ended play early on Thursday. They need another 113 runs to make the visitors bat again. Sri Lanka were forced to follow on after they fell 202 runs short of the West Indies first innings of 580-9 declared.
The bowling hero for the West Indies was off-spinner Shane Shillingford. Playing in just his fourth Test he took a career-best 4-123 and proved to be a major threat to the experienced Sri Lanka batting line-up on what is still an excellent pitch for batting. He bettered his previous best figures of 3-96 against South Africa in June and will be the Windies go-to man on the final day.
Shillingford ended the innings when he picked up the wickets of classy wicket-keeper Prassana Jayawardena (58) and hard-hitting allrounder Dammika Prasad (47) in quick succession. The two added 72 runs off 73 balls for the eighth wicket with several powerful boundaries before the persevering Shillingford had Prasad caught at long-on by debutant Andre Russell.
Jayawardena came close to saving the follow-on but perished when he top-edged a sweep off Shillingford. The ball sailed towards the boundary but Kemar Roach held a good catch on the deep backward square-leg fence.
Earlier in the day the fast-improving Roach did the damage with some high-quality pace bowling. Visiting fast bowlers have been known to toil in vain on Sri Lankan pitches but he consistently topped 90 miles per hour and was rewarded with 3-78 on an unresponsive surface. He broke through in the sixth over when he had Mahela Jayawardena caught behind by keeper Carlton Baugh for 59, ending a 61-run fourth-wicket partnership with Thilan Samaraweera.
Samaraweera batted well for 52, but was undone by an amazing solo effort from Dwayne Bravo which resulted in a magical run out. The ball was pitched up and Angelo Mathews drove it down the pitch. Bravo, being alert, stuck out his right boot on his follow through and managed to get a touch with the bottom of his shoe. It was the perfect touch – the ball did not change its path and crashed into the stumps. Samaraweera was caught out of his ground and immediately walked off. Immediately it lifted the Windies spirits and they kept Sri Lanka under constant pressure.
The final promises to be another enthralling one as the West Indies seek to create history by winning for the first time in Sri Lanka.
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