West Indies, Sri Lanka Locked in Tense Battle

The 1st Test match between Sri Lanka and host West Indies currently being played at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground will most likely head into a full day’s play today, the fourth day of the match.

Rahkeem Cornwall crack a smile after reaching his maiden half century. (Photo: Randy Brooks)

The two teams were locked in a tense battle yesterday after lunch with the Sri Lankans on 148 for the loss of 1 wicket as they wiped out the 102 runs deficit by bowling the West Indies out for 271. Sri Lanka scored 169 in their first inning.

On Monday, spinner Rahkeem Cornwall scored his maiden half century on home turf for the West Indies on day two as the two team’s battle it out for the Sobers – Tissera trophy.  Cornwall ended on 60 not out off 79 deliveries, as West Indies closed on 268 for eight, a lead of 99 runs.

(l-r) Rahkeem Cornwall and Joshua Da Silva shared a 90 run partnership for the 8th wicket. (Photo: Randy Brooks/AFP/GI)

Known for his power hitting in T20 cricket, the Antiguan slammed nine fours and two sixes with a strike rate of 75.95 to lead the home team’s batting and leave them in good stead going into day three of the contest. His 50 came off just 62 deliveries with eight elegant fours and two massive sixes.

Yesterday and inside the first hour of play, Sri Lanka bowled out the West Indies for 271. Cornwall was first to go, bowled Vishwa Fernando for 61 with the score on 271 for 9; fast bowler Shannon Gabriel was next in, but did not trouble the scorers as he was the last batsman out, lbw Vishwa Fernando without scoring. Kemar Roach remained on 5 not out.

For the West Indies, wicketkeeper/ batsman, Joshua Da Silva made 46 off 124 balls; West Indies double century maker in Bangladesh Kyle Mayers contributed 45; opening batsman John Campbell made 42 runs and top order batsman Nkrumah Bonner added 31 to the total.

For Sri Lanka, their chief wicket taker was Suranga Lakmal, he picked up 5 for 47; Vishwa Fernando 2 for 52; Dushmantha Chameera 2 for 71 and Lasith Embuldeniya 1 for 64.

Needing 102 to make the West Indies bat a second time, Sri Lanka after lunch was 148 for 1 after 49 overs. The not out batsmen, Lahiru Thirimanne 59 from 154 deliveries with four boundaries and Oshada Fernando 79 from 129 deliveries with 9 fours. The pair frustrated the West Indies bowlers by adding 140 runs for the second wicket.

Sri Lanka led by 46 runs prior to press time yesterday.

The batsman out, Dimuth Karunaratne (captain) for 3, sending a straight forward catch at rib height to John Campbell off the bowling of Kemar Roach with the score on 8.

The West Indies right arm fast bowler who picked up 3 wickets for 47 runs in the first innings kept probing away at Karunaratne in the 5th over as he pushed away from his body trying to attack after being stifled all over by dot balls.

(l-r) Sri Lanka fast bowler, Suranga Lakmal picked up 5 for 47; opening batsman, Lahiru Thirimanne and Oshada Fernando frustrate the West Indies bowlers by putting on a solid second partnership. (Photo: AFP/ Randy Brooks)

Bowling for the West Indies, Kemar Roach: 1 for 20 from 9 overs.

On Sunday in Sri Lanka first innings of 169. Lahiru Thirimanne top scored with 70 off 80 deliveries and Niroshan Dickwella 32 from 76 deliveries, the main contributors with the bat.

For the West Indies, all-rounder Jason Holder picked up five for 27 in 17.4 overs to help bowl out Sri Lanka for 169. Kemar Roach had three for 47 in 16 overs while Rahkeem Cornwall picked up one for 25 in 14 overs.

More on the 1st Test match in Saturday’s issue of the paper.

The second Test between the two teams bowls off on Monday 29th March at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.

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