Sri Lanka lose Perera early after Windies set 453

test match

Set a target of 453 for victory in the first Test in Port of Spain on Saturday (June 9), Sri Lanka managed to get through the post-lunch session on Day 4 for the loss of a solitary wicket thanks to solid partnership between Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Mendis. They are for 65 for 1 at Tea, although the visiting team’s skipper retired ill eleven overs into Sri Lanka’s second innings.

With two fours off Shannon Gabriel in the opening over, Kusal Perera made his intentions clear – that he was going to approach the innings in a positive manner, not concerned about how the pacer had troubled Sri Lanka in the first innings. The intent was good but the execution wasn’t quite up to the mark as the left-hander, trying to force a short delivery from Gabriel to the leg-side, got a leading edge that was snapped up by Devon Smith at first slip.

Unlike the first innings, Windies weren’t able to run through the Sri Lankan top order as Chandimal and Mendis showed good application and were judicious with their shot selection. Capitalising on the loose deliveries and respecting the good ones, Chandimal and Mendis built a steady partnership to keep the Windies bowlers at bay. However, the partnership came to an abrupt half as Chandimal appeared in some pain before the start of the 12th over, and was seen holding his head.

With the skipper leaving the field, Sri Lanka got into a defensive mode for the remainder of the session, with Angelo Mathews and Mendis holding fort. Meanwhile, Windies lost a review when Roach rapped Mathews on the pads, with replays revealing that the ball was traveling over the stumps.

Earlier, Powell and Jason Holder, who scored the bulk of the runs, missed out on personal milestones with the left-hander falling 12 short of a three-figure score and the Windies skipper missing a half-century by 11 runs. Nevertheless, it was a job well done as they ensured that the scoreboard did not stagnate, albeit the hosts scoring only 78 runs in the 29 overs bowled in the first session.

Suranga Lakmal bowled testing lines to Shane Dowrich on the fourth morning but it was Lahiru Kumara, who picked up the first wicket of the day. He trapped the first-innings centurion leg-before with slightly fuller delivery, having bowled mostly short of length before that. The short deliveries, though, continued to serve Kumara well and he troubled Powell too, but the left-hander showed enough application to hang around and scored the occasional boundaries.

The arrival of Jason Holder aided Windies in injecting some momentum to their innings in the morning as the skipper took on the spinners in his 40-ball 39 which included 4 fours and a six. Windies, however, lost both Powell and Holder ahead of Lunch, and added only 18 runs in the 12 overs before the break. Devendra Bishoo and Kemar Roach managed to score quicker in the brief time that Windies batted in the post-lunch session, stretching the lead past 450 before the declaration came with the home team’s score on 223 for 7.

Brief scores: Windies 414/8 decl. & 223/7 decl. (Kieran Powell 88, Jason Holder 39; Lahiru Kumara 3-40, Rangana Herath 2-52) lead Sri Lanka 185 & 65/1 (Kusal Mendis 24*; Shannon Gabriel 1-21) by 388 runs.


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