Little hope for Windies
GALLE, Sri Lanka (CMC);
Feeble batting returned to haunt West Indies on the third day here yesterday, leaving them with an uphill task of saving the opening Test against Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium.
Dismissed for 251 in their first innings and then forced to follow on, West Indies were up against it at the close in their second innings, struggling at 67 for two and still 166 runs adrift of making the Sri Lankans bat a second time.
Left-hander Darren Bravo was unbeaten on 20 and was partnered by nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo on six.
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath had earlier put Sri Lanka in firm control of the game when he destroyed the Caribbean side's innings, grabbing six for 68 as the visitors lost their last eight wickets for 185 runs, to follow on by 233 runs.
Bravo top-scored with exactly 50, tail-ender Jerome Taylor chipped in with a run-a-ball 31 while Bishoo scored 23 not out and Denesh Ramdin, 23.
Seamer Dhammika Prasad supported with two for 65.
lost both openers
Left with the majority of the final session to negotiate after their first innings folded 20 minutes after tea, West Indies lost both openers Shai Hope (6) and Kraigg Brathwaite (34) as Sri Lanka's spinners once again threatened to expose the brittle Windies batting.
The right-handed Hope failed again, dragging on a wide delivery from left-arm spinner Milinda Siriwardana with the score on 18, about 20 minutes before the final drinks break.
Brathwaite looked compact and had faced 75 deliveries in 11/2 hours at the crease when he played down the wrong line to a straight one from Herath was palpably lbw. His resort to DRS was as baffling as it was desperate.
Bravo then took responsibility for the innings, with a knock that has so far come from 44 balls and included two sixes - both sweetly timed straight hits in successive overs from Siriwardana.
Much had earlier rested on the shoulders of the stylish Trinidadian after West Indies resumed the day on 68 for two in pursuit of Sri Lanka's massive 484 all out.
Unbeaten on 15 at the start, Bravo lost Samuels early after the right-hander had added just four to his overnight seven, dragging onto Herath in the day's third over with West Indies on 70 for three.
Bravo and Jermaine Blackwood (11) steadied the innings in a 41-run stand for the fourth wicket, and saw West Indies through the remainder of the first hour without further loss.
Displaying fluency against both pace and spin, Bravo counted eight fours and a six, in an innings lasting 107 balls and just under 2 3/4 hours.
SRI LANKA 1st innings 484
WEST INDIES 1st Innings
(overnight 66 for two)
D.M. Bravo c Chandimal b Herath 50
M. Samuels b Herath 11
J. Blackwood c Siriwardana b Prasad 11
+D. Ramdin c wkp Perera b Pradeep 23
*J. Holder c wkp Perera b Prasad 19
K. Roach st wkp Perera b Herath 22
J. Taylor c Mathews b Kaushal 31
D. Bishoo not out 23
S. Gabriel b Herath 0
Extras (b5, lb6, w1, nb7) 19
Total (all out, 82 overs) 251
Fall of wickets: 1-33 (Brathwaite), 2-49 (Hope), 3-70 (Samuels), 4-111 (Blackwood), 5-132 (Bravo), 6-165 (Holder), 7-171 (Ramdin), 8-217 (Taylor), 9-251 (Roach), 10-251 (Gabriel)
Bowling: Prasad 15-6-38-2, Pradeep 15-4-56-1, Herath 33-9-68-6, Kaushal 14-4-65-1, Siriwardana 5-2-13-0.
WEST INDIES 2nd Innings (following-on)
K. Brathwaite lbw b Herath 34
S. Hope b Siriwardana 6
D.M. Bravo not out 20
D. Bishoo not out 6
Extras (nb1) 1
Total (2 wkts, 27 overs) 67
Fall of wickets: 1-18 (Hope), 2-60 (Brathwaite)
Bowling: Prasad 3-1-4-0, Herath 7-3-17-1, Pradeep 4-1-7-0, Siriwardana 6-1-30-1, Kaushal 7-3-9-0.
Position: West Indies trail by 166 runs with eight wickets second innings wickets intact.
Toss: Sri Lanka.
UMPIRES: Marais Erasmus, Richard Illingworth; TV - Simon Fry.