PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
West Indies rattled Sri Lanka with three quick wickets in a dramatic final hour to take firm control of the opening Test, after Shane Dowrich’s second Test hundred had earlier given them the advantage on a rain-hit second day of the contest at Queen’s Park Oval yesterday.
Declaring their innings on 414 for eight, just under an hour before the rescheduled close with Dowrich left unbeaten on 125, West Indies wrecked the visitors’ top order to leave them against the ropes on 31 for three from the 10 overs possible.
Kusal Perera perished off just the second legitimate delivery of the innings from seamer Kemar Roach, carving a wide, loose delivery to Roston Chase at point, to fall without scoring to the first ball he faced.
His opening partner Kusal Mendis (4) fared little better, departing to a catch at third slip by captain Jason Holder after failing to negotiate a length delivery from speedster Shannon Gabriel in the fourth over.
Controversy surrounded the fall of Sri Lanka’s third wicket, however. Angelo Mathews, dropped first ball by Holder off Gabriel, survived a pace barrage to make 11 before edging an outswinger from Holder to Chase at third slip.
Replays showed Holder appearing to have overstepped but with none of the images conclusive, the dismissal was upheld by umpires.
Captain Dinesh Chandimal battled 31 deliveries to be unbeaten on three at the close and was accompanied by Roshen Silva on one.
Sri Lanka head into today’s day three trailing Sri Lanka by 383 runs.
For all the drama created by the Windies pacers late on, it was the remarkable hundred by Dowrich which took the spotlight.
Resuming the morning on 46, the right-hander hardly put a foot wrong as he reached three figures with the last ball before tea in an extended post-lunch session.
All told, Dowrich faced 325 deliveries in seven hours and 37 minutes at the crease, striking 12 fours, in a knock marked by superb powers of concentration.
More significantly, he put on a record 102 for the seventh wicket with overnight partner Devendra Bishoo who made 40, before adding a further 75 for the eighth wicket with Roach who scored 39.
The two partnerships crushed Sri Lanka’s spirit and enabled West Indies to clinically build on their position of 246 for six at the start.
WEST INDIES 1st innings
(overnight 246 for six)
+S. Dowrich not out 125
D. Bishoo c R Silva b Lakmal 40
K. Roach c Chandimal b Kumara 39
M. Cummins not out 0
Extras (b14, lb20, w2, nb4) 40
Total (8 wkts decl., 154 overs) 414
Did not bat: S Gabriel.
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-40, 3-80, 4-134, 5-147, 6-237, 7-339, 8-414.
Bowling: Lakmal 29-11-55-2, Gamage 26-6-67-0, D Perera 35-5-84-0, Kumara 31-4-95-4, Herath 32-9-67-1, Mendis 1-0-12-0.
SRI LANKA 1st Innings
K. Mendis c Holder b Gabriel 4
K. Perera c Chase b Roach 0
*D. Chandimal not out 3
A. Mathews c Chase b Holder 11
R. Silva not out 1
Extras (lb4, w7, nb1) 12
Total (3 wkts, 10 overs) 31
To bat: +N Dickwella, D Perera, R Herath, S Lakmal, K Gamage, L Kumara.
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-16, 3-30.
Bowling: Roach 3-2-2-1, Gabriel 4-0-17-1, Cummins 2-0-3-0, Holder 1-0-5-1.
Position: Sri Lanka trail by 383 runs.
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: Aleem Dar, Richard Kettleborough; TV – Ian Gould.