Sri Lanka ambushed by an alien
West Indies chasing a victory target of 244 were 20 for the loss of
opener Kraigg Brathwaite when rain intervened around 2.30 pm and play
was called off one hour later on the third day of the second Hero
Sobers- Tissera trophy cricket Test at the P.Sara Oval yesterday.
West Indies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin (R) and teammate
Kraigg Brathwaite (C) celebrate after dismissing Sri Lankan
batsman Kusal Perera during the third day of the second
The Sri Lanka middle order batting was badly exposed once again when
they collapsed alarmingly losing eight wickets for 130 runs in a session
and a half as the West Indians found a most unlikely bowling hero in off
spinner Kraigg Brathwaite, a stop gap bowler who knocked away the props
that were holding up the structure taking 6 for 29 in 11.3 overs.
The 22-year old Brathwaite had only a wicket to go by from 23 Tests
before the ball was thrown to him yesterday by skipper Jason Holder.
Play began on time in overcast conditions, but the sun came out
partially to dispel the gloom. Left arm spinner Jomel Warrican on debut
and pacemann Jerome Taylor started off and found conditions to their
Possibly the pitch had sweated a little under the canvas coverings
probably due to overnight rain and no doubt this gave the bowlers that
little bit of extra life.
The watchful Kaushal Silva just added one run to his overnight 31 and
helped Chandimal to add 29 runs before edging a turning leg-spinning
ball to the slips for Blackwood to snap up the catch.
But Chandimal who was also struggling against Jerome Taylor failed to
stay and was caught behind with both wickets falling at 84 with the
overall lead just 121.
With the loss of Silva and Chandimal the Sri Lankans faced a crisis
situation and it was left to skipper Mathews and newcomer Siriwardene to
restore some order in the batting. Left hander Milinda Siriwardene who
is turning out into a useful all-rounder stuck to his job admirably as
he struck both spinners Jomel Warrican and Devendra Bishoo for straight
sixes to ease the pressure and was visibly taking the aggressor’s role.
Mathews and Siriwardene posted the 50-run stand as the overall lead
kept on moving. With lunch approaching and the score reading 151 for 5
and Siriwardena on 42 nearing his second fifty in the match, Brathwaite
was introduced only to claim the wickets of Milinda Siriwardene and
Kusal Perera in quick succession.
Siriwardene batted enterprisingly for his 42 facing sixty deliveries
with three fours and two sixes while Perera’s subdued innings was cut
short in the last over before lunch edging one to the keeper.
At lunch Sri Lanka were 165 for 6 with Mathews unbeaten on 31 with an
overall lead of 202 with four wickets intact. But a dismal batting
performance by the late middle order saw the off spinner Kraigg
Brathwaite taking the last four wickets which made his final tally of 6
for 29 as the home team managed only 41 runs to their lunch time score
of 165 for 6.
Herath, Mathews and Dilruwan Perera all perished to injudicious shots
amid the steady off spinners of Brathwaite.
Herath went for his famous sweep and popped up a catch, Dilruwan
Perera after clobbering a six over mid-wicket off Brathwaite went for a
repetition and was caught the next ball at deep mid-wicket and the worst
of all skipper Mathews after shouldering a major part of the batting
indulged in a reverse sweep and top-edged the ball after scoring 46
facing 120 deliveries with three fours.
Brathwaite created a sensation becoming the only West Indian spinner
to take six wickets in a Test in an innings on Sri Lankan soil. The
previous best bowling figures by a West Indian was by CD Collymore (7
for 57) in Kingston, 2003.
Sri Lanka first innings 200
West Indies first innings 163
Sri Lanka second innings
D Karunaratne c Bishoo b Taylor 00
Kaushal Silva c Blackwood b Warrican 32
Kusal Mendis c Ramdin b Warrican 39
Dinesh Chandimal c Ramdin b Taylor 12
Angelo Mathews c Blackwood b Brathwaite 46
M Siriwardana c Blackwood b Brathwaite 42
Kusal Perera c Ramdin b Brathwaite 05
Rangana Herath c Blackwood b Brathwaite 18
Dilruwan Perera c Roach b Brathwaite 07
Dhammika Prasad not out 01
Nuwan Pradeep c Blackwood b Brathwaite 00
Extras: (b2 lb2) 04
Total all out (75.3 overs) 206
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Karunaratne), 2-55 (Mendis), 3-84 (Silva)
4-84 (Chandimal),5-151 (Siriwardena)
6- 165 (Kusal Perera, 7-195 (Herath)
8-203 (D Perera),9-206 (Mathews), 10-206 (Pradeep)
Bowling: Taylor 8-3-26-2
West Indies second innings
Kraigg Brathwaite lbw b Prasad 03
Shai Hope not out 17
Total: (1 wicket) 20
Fall of wicket:20
Bowling: Prasad 5-2-4-1, Pradeep 1-0-8-0, Herath 3-1-8-0