Vishaul career best puts Windies A in command
PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka (CMC):
Vice-captain Vishaul Singh struck a career-best fifth first class century to spearhead a massive West Indies A batting effort on the second day of the second four-day 'Test' against Sri Lanka A here yesterday.
Unbeaten on 81 overnight at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, the left-hander carved out a superb 161 to lift West Indies to 509 for nine declared in their first innings.
Opener Rajendra Chandrika, who had retired hurt on 51 on Tuesday's opening day, returned to make 84, while tailender Kemar Roach chipped in with 39.
At the close, captain Dimuth Karunaratne was holding the hosts' innings together with an unbeaten 66 as they reached 128 for four - still 381 runs behind heading into today's penultimate day.
Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella was not out on 38 and has so far put on 91 for the fifth wicket with Karunartne, a partnership which pulled Sri Lanka A from danger at 37 for four.
Seamer Roach trapped Avishka Fernando lbw for seven at 19 for one and Test batsman Lahiru Thirimanne followed for three at 32 for two when he was caught at the wicket off fast bowler Keon Joseph, who has taken two for four from four overs.
Joseph removed Roshen Silva for a first-ball 'duck' at 36 for three and with a run added, Charith Asalanka was lbw to off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall for one.
However, first 'Test' century-maker, Karunaratne, produced yet another excellent innings to stave off the collapse, facing 124 deliveries and counting 12 fours, while Dickwella has struck two fours in his 65-ball knock.
Earlier, resuming from their overnight 331 for five, West Indies A flourished, thanks to the Guyanese pair of Vishaul and Chandrika, who put on 54 for the sixth wicket.
While Vishaul faced 306 deliveries and struck 16 fours, Chandrika hit nine boundaries off 84 balls, falling with his second first class century in sight when he was lbw to leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay.
Vishaul, who reached triple figures 40 minutes before lunch, then added a further 90 for the seventh wicket with Roach, who hit four fours and two sixes in his 80 balls at the crease.
The partnership took West Indies to lunch at 410 for six and helped the visitors increase their dominance in the second session, before Roach finally departed, an hour after the resumption.
Off-spinner Charith Asalanka was the best bowler, with four for 104.