Windies A face mammoth task
HAMBANTOTA (CMC): A batting meltdown overshadowed off-spinner Shane Shillingford's five-wicket haul and cost West Indies A dearly, as they were left facing an uphill battle to save the first unofficial 'Test' against Sri Lanka A yesterday.
At the close of the second day, the Caribbean players were struggling at 96 for seven in response to the hosts' 413 all out at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium.
They were undone by leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna, who sliced through the innings to finish with five for 24.
West Indies A trail by 307 runs with three wickets intact and two days remaining in the contest.
Shillingford had earlier hauled West Indies A back into the contest, taking five for 160 to wreck Sri Lanka A's middle and lower order.
Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel (2-43) and left-arm spinner Nikita Miller (2-87) finished with two wickets apiece.
Overnight 261 for two
Resuming from their overnight 261 for two, Sri Lanka pushed on mainly through Dinesh Chandimal, who converted his overnight unbeaten 29 not out into 87.
In the process, he stretched his third wicket stand with Lahiru Thirimanne to 71, with the left-handed Thirimanne adding just eight to his overnight 85.
Chandimal, who hit nine fours and two sixes off 121 b.alls, also put on 51 for the fourth wicket with Jehan Mubarak, who made 25.
Sri Lanka A cruised to 371 for four, but Shillingford intervened to ensure the last six wickets fell for just 42 runs.
There was no sign of the collapse to come when Assad Fudadin and Test opener Kraigg Brathwaite were adding 44 for the first wicket, as West Indies A started positively.
The left-handed Fudadin top-scored with 32, made off 57 balls with three fours, while the right-handed Brathwaite struck four fours in his 36-ball stay at the crease.
Brathwaite eventually perished lbw to Prasanna, but even then, Fudadin and Test batsman Kirk Edwards (13) pushed the score up to 65 without further loss.
However, once Prasanna deceived Fudadin and had him stumped, the innings quickly went into decline as six wickets tumbled for 31 runs.
Much will now rest on wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton, who was unbeaten on 10 at the close.
SRI LANKA A 1st innings
(overnight 261 for two)
U Tharanga c wkp Walton b Gabriel 4D Karunaratne c wkp Walton b C Brathwaite 139L Thirimanne lbw b Gabriel 93D Chandimal c & b Shillingford 87J Mubarak st Walton b Miller 25+N Dickwella c C Brathwaite b Shillingford 17
A Priyanjan c Miller b Shillingford 0
S Prasanna lbw b Shillingford 11S Eranga lbw b Miller 3L Gamage not out 12V Fernando lbw b Shillingford 16Extras (b2, lb2, w1, nb1) 6TOTAL (all out, 140.5 overs) 413
Fall of wicket: 1-6, 2-223, 3-294, 4-345, 5-371, 6-371, 7-371, 8-377, 9-385, 10-413.
Bowling: Gabriel 15-5-43-2, Cottrell 13-0-46-0 (w1), C Brathwaite 23-3-53-1, Fudadin 4-3-2-0, Shillingford 44.5-6-160-5 (nb1), Miller 35-9-87-2, Blackwood 5-1-18-0, Fletcher 1-1-0-0.
WEST INDIES A 1st innings
K Brathwaite lbw b Prasanna 24A Fudadin st Dickwella b Prasanna 32K Edwards b Prasanna 13J Blackwood c Tharanga b Fernando 5A Fletcher st Dickwella b Prasanna 8+C Walton not out 10C Brathwaite lbw b Prasanna 0S Shillingford b Priyanjan 2N Miller not out 0Extras (b2) 2TOTAL (7 wkts, 39 overs) 96
To bat: S Cottrell, S Gabriel.
Fall of wickets: 1-44, 2-65, 3-70, 4-74, 5-83, 6-89, 7-96.
Bowling: Eranga 10-3-38-0, Gamage 5-0-14-0, Prasanna 15-7-24-5, Fernando 7-3-17-1, Priyanjan 2-1-1-1
Position: Windies A trail by 307 runs with three wickets intact.
Toss: Sri Lanka A.
Umpires: N Dhanasinghe, R Kottahachchi.