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2nd Test Match: Another Intriguing Day Expected Between West Indies and Sri Lanka

Another intriguing day of cricket is expected when the action resumes today (Wednesday 31st March) in the second Test match between host West Indies and Sri Lanka at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds in Antigua.

Sri Lanka was 71 for the loss of 2 wickets after tea on day two, trailing the West Indies by 283 runs, just before press time yesterday.

The not out batsmen, Lahiru Thirimanne 49 from 101 deliveries and Dinesh Chandimal on 2 not out respectively

((L-R) Kraigg Brathwaite on the go; Brathwaite acknowledges reaching his 9thTest century on Tuesday. (Photo: Randy Brooks)

The wickets to fall are that of their captain, Dimuth Karunaratne for 1, he was brilliantly caught by Nkrumah Bonner off the bowling of Alzarri Joseph with the score on 18 and Oshada Fernando LBW to Kyle Mayers for 18 with the score on 64 inside the 30th over.

Earlier, the West Indies resuming on 287 for 7 were finally bowled out for 354. The Sri Lankans removed the three remaining West Indies wickets, but it took them all of the morning session, and cost them 67 runs, as Kraigg Brathwaite moved to 126, and Rahkeem Cornwall also strode to his second half-century of the series, making 73 off 92.

Although Sri Lanka had a ball that was only six overs old when they began the day, West Indies still saw out the first hour unscathed, and it was Cornwall that did most of the damage during this period, flicking, punching, driving and sometimes edging fortuitously – Sri Lanka now visibly frustrated that the eighth wicket had taken them so long.

Shortly before Cornwall got out, soon after drinks, he and Brathwaite celebrated their century partnership – the first of the innings. The stand had lifted West Indies from what seemed like it could be a modest score, to a very good one, even on a track as flat as this.

Brathwaite’s contribution, typically, was 26 off 96 (while Cornwall made 73). He had kept himself on the backburner of every partnership he was part of in this innings, and in doing so, preserved himself to make the most substantial contribution to the innings. Here was a batsman who batted to a plan, and stuck unshakably through it, even when West Indies appeared to be in crisis.

(L-R) Rahkeem Cornwall, drives down the ground; Suranga Lakmal finish with 4 for 94. (Photo: AFP/ GI/ Randy Brooks)

Eventually, Cornwall tried one shot too many and holed out to mid-on to give Suranga Lakmal his fourth wicket, before Brathwaite was joined at the crease by Kemar Roach, who gamely played out 35 deliveries safely before he edged Dushmantha Chameera to the wicketkeeper. In Chameera’s next over, Brathwaite himself was dismissed finally – after 514 minutes of resistance – when he dragged a seaming Chameera delivery into his pads, with the ball then ricocheting into the stumps. This was off the 310th ball that Brathwaite had faced. He had only been dropped once, on 37, but that had been an exceedingly difficult chance.

Lakmal’s 4 for 94 stood out as the best performance for Sri Lanka’s bowlers, but Chameera’s two late wickets also brought his figures to a respectable 3 for 69. Vishwa Fernando picked up only the wicket of Kyle Mayers soon after lunch on day one, but he was Sri Lanka’s most economical bowler, conceding runs at 2.62 over his 27 overs.

For West Indies on day 1, the wickets to fall: John Campbell 5 (1 for 11); Nkrumah Bonner 0 (2 for 15); Kyle Mayers 49 (3 for 86); Jermaine Blackwood 18 (4 for 120); Jason Holder 30 (5 for 171); Joshua Da Silva 1 (6 for 185) and Alzarri Joseph 29 (7 for 222).

Anthony De Beauville is The VOICE Publishing Company’s multi-award winning sports journalist. He works closely with a number of sports federations including the Department of Youth Development and Sports, the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee and other organizations.

He covers and contributes articles highlighting the areas of international, regional, national, community based clubs and schools sporting activities. There is never an off day as he stays busy... Read full bio...

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