Sri Lanka 93-0 in their second innings at lunch in second Test
NORTH SOUND – West Indies endured a fruitless toil before lunch, after Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne and fellow opener Lahiru Thirimanne held firm in the second Test in Antigua.
Karunaratne was not out 54 and Thirimanne was not out on 37, and the Sri Lankans were 93 without loss in their second innings at the interval on the rain-marred final day of the match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, having been set 377 to win.
Play started 35 minutes later than scheduled because of rain and only two overs were possible before the weather again intervened with Sri Lanka 38 without loss.
The players returned to field after 20 minutes, and Windies strike bowler Shannon Gabriel was left fuming, when wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva spilled a chance down the leg-side, after Thirimanne, on 17, gloved a short, rising ball.
Outside of that chance, the Windies failed to get any assistance from the docile pitch, and the two Sri Lankan left-handers monotonously grinded away with Karunaratne reaching 50 for the first time on the tour from 87 balls, when he drove part-time off-spinner Jermaine Blackwood straight for his sixth boundary.
The two-Test series is level 0-0, after the first Test ended in a draw last Thursday at the same venue, and there are heavy odds that this may also be the outcome.
The team that wins will hold onto 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.
For West Indies, a win will give them their second successive series victory this year, a rarity in recent times, and move them ahead of the Sri Lankans in the ICC World Rankings to No.7.
For Sri Lanka, a win or a draw will keep them in the No.7 position, but they will be eyeing success to clinch their first series victory over the Windies in the Caribbean, something they have not achieved on four previous trips.
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, Dushmantha Chameera 3-69) and 280 for four declared (Kraigg Brathwaite 85, Jason Holder 71 not out, Kyle Mayers 55, Joshua da Silva 20 not out, Jermaine Blackwood 18, John Campbell 10; Suranga Lakmal 2-62, Dushmathan Chameera 2-74).
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) and 93 without loss (Dimuth Karunaratne 54 not out, Lahiru Thirimanne 37 not out).