Brathwaite, Bishoo halt Sri Lanka
MORATUWA, Sri Lanka (CMC):
Captain Carlos Brathwaite and leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo engineered a West Indies A fightback with two wickets apiece, as the honours were shared evenly on the second day of the third and final four-day 'Test' yesterday.
At the close, Sri Lanka A were 248 for six in reply to West Indies A's first innings total of 282 all out at the Tyronne Fernando Stadium, only 34 runs behind.
Seamer Brathwaite picked up two for 20 from eight tight overs, while Bishoo grabbed two for 81 in an expensive outing.
However, they combined to pull back Sri Lanka A, who were cruising at one stage behind knocks of 77 from captain and opener Upul Tharanga, 43 not out from Dinesh Chandimal and 38 from Kusal Perera.
The left-handed Tharanga anchored two successive half-century partnerships to put the hosts in early command. He added 72 for the first wicket with Perera, before putting on a further 66 for the second wicket with Lahiru Thirimanne, who got 21.
Tharanga, who has played 19 Tests, faced 120 balls and counted 12 fours.
Part-time off-spinner Jermaine Blackwood got the breakthrough, having Perera caught at the wicket after the left-hander had struck four fours and a six in his 48-ball stay at the crease.
Tharanga and Thirimanne were frustrating the Caribbean side in another productive stand when Brathwaite struck to remove both in successive overs - both taken behind by wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton.
With three wickets having fallen for just 13 runs, Sri Lanka A again consolidated, this time through Chandimal and Kithuruwan Vithanage (25), the pair putting on 42 runs for the fifth wicket.
Chandimal has so far faced 99 balls and counted four fours in a patient knock, while Vithanage struck four fours off 36 balls before falling lbw to Bishoo at 193 for five.
Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dick-wella fell to seamer Jonathan Carter for just four with seven runs added to the total, but Chandimal found a partner in Chaturanga de Silva (24 not out), to rebuild Sri Lanka A's innings with an unbroken 48-run seventh-wicket partnership.
Earlier, West Indies, resuming at their overnight 239 for six, added 43 more runs for the loss of the four remaining wickets.
Walton and Carlos Brathwaite, the overnight batsmen, carried on for 27 and 25, respectively, before falling to fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep, who finished with four for 40.
Off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal took five for 125.