Lahiru Kumara triggered a West Indies lower-order collapse as Sri Lanka dismissed the home side for 204 in their first innings just before tea on the second day of the day-night third Test at Kensington Oval in Barbados yesterday.
Sri Lanka were set to resume their reply after the break with openers Kusal Perera and Mahela Udawatte having safely negotiated two maiden overs from Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel.
Kumara, the fast bowler who has emerged as the tourists’ outstanding performer with the ball in this three-match series, broke the productive sixth-wicket partnership between Shane Dowrich and West Indies Captain Jason Holder which had frustrated the Sri Lakans on a rain-affected opening night as they rescued the home side from the depths of 53 for five with a 115-run stand.
Dowrich, who has enjoyed his best-ever series with the bat, highlighted by an unbeaten 125 in his first innings of the campaign in Trinidad, eventually fell for 71 on the second afternoon, trapped lbw by Kumara.
That was the beginning of the end of the West Indies innings, with the last five wickets going down for 36 runs.
Holder was actually the dominant partner when play resumed in bright afternoon sunshine on the second day, impressing with a succession of straight-driven boundaries off the faster bowlers.
However, when Dowrich’s demise was followed shortly after by the dismissal of Devendra Bishoo, taken in the slips off Kumara, the West Indies captain displayed an even more aggressive intent.
But it was to prove his undoing as Dilruwan Perera snared an excellent diving catch at gully to get rid of Holder for a top score of 74 off Kasun Rajitha, who finished with figures of three for 68.
Perera then got involved with the ball by having Miguel Cummins taken at short leg as the West Indies tail showed none of the resilience that was in evidence earlier in the series.
Kumara polished off the innings by having Gabriel caught behind to lead the effort by the Sri Lankan bowlers with four for 68, raising his wicket tally in the series so far to 15.