Sri Lanka claw back into second Test
CRICKET: Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad, April 5:
The Sri Lankans who surrendered the initiative to the West Indians in
the morning session, clawed back into the game in the next two sessions
to leave the Second Digicel Test wide open at the end of day two, here
After losing 5 wickets for 61 to be all out for 278 the Lankans had
the Windies at 268 for 7, still needing 10 runs to equal the Lankan
first innings score.
On Saturday, the Lankan bowlers have to be at their best and dismiss
the remaining three home team batsmen without conceding too many runs.
At the wickets when play ended were Denesh Ramdin on 5 and Jerome
Taylor on 1. When play began 98 overs had to be bowled. But bad light
stopped play with 14.1 overs to be bowled. Play began in bright
sunshine, after the first day’s frustration when there were three
stoppages for rain and bad light.
When Sri Lanka lost 5 for 117 and with the Windies bowlers on top,
Tillekeratne Dilshan and Chamara Silva counter attacked and took the
side to the close on 217 for 5, adding a near ball a run century stand.
Then when they twosome had to stay put at the wicket and take the
team to a formidable score, Dilshan started as he was going to hit the
covers off the ball and after a fourth ball boundary, to the extra cover
area, he mistimed a hook and holed out to wicket keeper Ramdin off Fidel
Edwards. Dilshan made 62.
Chaminda Vaas played a similar stroke, to be caught by Ramdin, this
time the bowler being Darren Powell. Thilina Thusara was run out for 1
and Muralitharan was brilliantly held by a diving Dwaynne Bravo at third
man for 8 and it was left to Chamara Silva to add 23 for the last wicket
with Ishara Amerasinghe to take the score to 278 when, Silva who was
running out of partners hooked a bouncer from Bravo into the hands of
Powell at square leg.
Silva’s 76 was worth its weight in gold. He played sensibly and was
an example. He cut and drove beautifully on either side of the wicket.
He had 11 fours.
Fidel Edwards had 4 for 84, Darren Powell 2 for 59 and Jerome Taylor
2 for 74.
Then when West Indies replied it was encouraging to see Chris Gayle
opening the innings. He was taken to task for shrieking responsibility.
He was still uncertain against Chaminda Vaas and after being beaten by
Vaas times without number, began to stand and deliver hitting boundaries
with consumate ease.
After adding 58 for the first wicket with debutant Sewarine
Chattergoon, Thusara got the vital wicket when he got Gayle to snick to
Vandort in the gully for 45 off 49 balls with 9 fours.
Chattergoon and Ramnaresh Sarwan added 79 for the second wicket. Vaas
bowled a beautiful delivery to knock back the stumps of Chattergoon for
46. Marlon Samuels did not last long going to Muralitharan LBW for 3.
Chanderpaul went LBW for 18 and Sarwan 57 who is continuing his good
form was caught at short leg by Malinda Warnapura off Muralitharan and
the Muralitharan bowled Devon Smith for 47 and debutant Ishara
Amerasinghe got his first Test wicket having Dwaynne Bravo LBW for 26.
The Lankan bowlers - Vaas 1 for 67, Thilina Thusara 2 for 73 and
Muralitharan 3 for 63 in a marathon spell of 23 overs had the Windies
batsmen on a tight leash and the Lankans must dismiss the remaining
three batsmen and then the batsmen must build on the advantage and press
for victory and a clean sweep for the first time.