Windies 69-2 in their second innings in second Test
NORTH SOUND – West Indies made a shaky start to their second innings before lunch, after pacer Kemar Roach brought the Sri Lanka first innings to a swift end, giving the hosts a 96-run lead in the second Test in Antigua.
Windies captain Kraigg Brathwaite was not out on 22 and left-hander Kyle Mayers was not out on nine, and the Caribbean side were 69 for two in their second innings at the interval on the penultimate day of the match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, for an overall lead of 165.
West Indies suffered an early setback, when left-handed opener John Campbell again failed to ease worries about his durability and was caught behind off Suranga Lakmal for 10, moving down the pitch and edging a forward defensive prod.
Jermaine Blackwood was promoted to bat at three because his compatriot Nkrumah Bonner is battling a cricked neck and he played a typically busy innings that was filled with much drama.
He got into a mix-up with Brathwaite, then six, that almost cost the Windies captain his wicket in the 11th over.
Brathwaite flicked a delivery from Lakmal to deep backward square leg and he was coming back for a second run, but he got a tepid response from Blackwood and he had to scramble back.
The throw from the fielder in the deep to the bowler’s end was a bit wayward and Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne failed to collect, and the ball flew away to the boundary for four overthrows.
Next over, Blackwood, on seven, was dropped at first slip by Lahiru Thirimanne off Vishwa Fernando.
After he put on 44 with Brathwaite, the charmed life of the Windies vice-captain came to an end, when he flailed at a short rising ball from Dushmantha Chameera and was caught behind for 18 in the fifth over before the interval.
Earlier, Roach grabbed the last two Sri Lanka wickets in the third full over of the morning and the visitors were bowled out for 258, replying to West Indies first innings total of 354.
Roach ended with three for 58 from 18 overs, making him the most successful Windies bowler, and carried his tally of scalps at this venue to 39 at 16.05 runs apiece in only seven Tests.
He had Pathum Nissanka caught at deep backward square leg for 51, top-edging a hook at a short-ball, and two deliveries later, Vishwa Fernando was caught behind for duck, trying to turn a delivery into the leg-side.
The two-Test series is level 0-0, after the first Test ended in a draw last Thursday at the same venue.
The team that wins this match will hold the Garfield Sobers-Michael Tissera Trophy, symbol of Test supremacy between the two sides, which the Sri Lankans have held since its inception six years ago.
WEST INDIES 354 (Kraigg Brathwaite 126, Rahkeem Cornwall 73, Kyle Mayers 49, Jason Holder 30, Alzarri Joseph 29, Jermaine Blackwood 18; Suranga Lakmal 4-94, Dushmanth Chameera 3-69) and 69 for two (Kraigg Brathwaite 22 not out, Jermaine Blackwood 18, John Campbell 10).
SRI LANKA 258 (Lahiru Thirimanne 55, Pathum Nissanka 51, Dinesh Chandimal 44, Dhananjaya de Silva 39, Niroshan Dickwella 20, Oshada Fernando 18; Kemar Roach 3-58, Jason Holder 2-39, Alzarri Joseph 2-64).