Thursday, 21 June 2018

Sri Lanka’s batters struggle as West Indies build big lead

AFP
AFP

PORT OF SPAIN  – West Indies turned the screws on Sri Lanka , taking a 360-run lead with six second innings wickets in hand at the close of the third day of the first Test on Friday.

Continuation of the inept batting display of the previous evening, save for a 78-run fifth-wicket partnership between captain Dinesh Chandimal and wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, saw the tourists lose their last six wickets for 64 runs to be dismissed for 185 at tea in reply to the home side’s formidable first innings total of 414 for eight declared. However, home skipper Jason Holder declined to enforce the follow-on at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad, giving the opportunity to Kieran Powell to compile an entertaining, unbeaten 64 as the West Indies reached stumps at 131 for four.

With two days left in the match, it remains to be seen what target Holder will feel comfortable with on the fourth day and, more importantly, how much time he believes he will need to ensure his bowlers, himself included, can complete the victory to give his side an early lead in the three-match series.

Following the devastation wreaked by pacers Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach late on day two and at the start of day three, it was fast-medium bowler Miguel Cummins who cleaned up the Sri Lankan tail to finish with the best innings figures of three for 39.

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