Powell fancies Windies' chances
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Left-hander Kieran Powell believes that West Indies are in a great position to force a win in the opening Test against Sri Lanka after they dominated day three of the encounter yesterday.
Leading the visitors by 229 on first innings after bundling them out for 185, West Indies ended the day on 131 for four in their second innings - an overall lead of 360 runs heading into Saturday's penultimate day.
Powell said that it was important for the Windies to put themselves into an impregnable position.
"I think we're already in a good position - 360 [runs] ahead- so I think it's a matter of taking time out of the game now," said the 28-year-old, who stroked a delightful unbeaten 64.
"Obviously, once we bat, we'll score runs anyway, so I think we'll get to lunch tomorrow and assess from there. Obviously, we'll get the plans from the manager, coach, and captain in the morning, and we'll see where we go from there."
He added: "But it's just a matter of taking time out of the game now, putting ourselves in a position where we can't lose the game, and getting the Sri Lankans tired running around in the sun tomorrow."
Powell entered the fray after Devon Smith departed for 20 at 36 for one and then watched as the Windies slid to 75 for three.
He then took the attack to the Sri Lankan bowlers, carving out six fours and two sixes in an 80-ball knock, to fuel the bulk of the Windies scoring and reach his fifth Test half-century off 59 balls.
The Nevisian said that his role was to play positively and ensure that the Windies pressed home their advantage.
"The team was in a good position. We already had a 200-run lead, so we had a relatively good start," he explained.
"But it was my job to go out there and sort of try and stamp the authority on the innings for us and make sure we have a good lead going into tomorrow, and more than anything, keep the Sri Lankans in the field and get them tired."
Powell said that with the pitch already proving unpredictable, the Windies bowlers would use that as an advantage in Sri Lanka's second turn at the crease.
"On the first day, I think it was a bit more tacky. It was a bit more moist and the ball was doing a bit more," he noted.
"Now, the ball is doing more in the sense that it's keeping low, so you just have to play straight, watch the ball [a lot more] ... it's a tricky pitch, but I think that bodes well for us going forward."
WINDIES 1st innings
SRI LANKA 1st Innings
(overnight 31 for three)
*D. Chandimal c Chase b Gabriel 44
R. Silva b Roach 5
+N. Dickwella run out 31
D. Perera c Hope b Bishoo 20
R. Herath c sub (Hetmyer) b Cummins 5
S. Lakmal c Bishoo b Cummins 15
L. Gamage not out 0
L. Kumara c wk Dowrich b Cummins 8
Extras (b8, lb16, w12, nb6) 42
Total (all out, 55.4 overs) 185
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-16, 3-30, 4-43, 5-121, 6-140, 7-148, 8-156, 9-175, 10-185.
Bowling: Roach 10-3-34-2, Gabriel 13-0-48-2, Cummins 12.4.-4-39-3, Holder 7-1-15-1, Bishoo 13-2-25-1.
WEST INDIES 2nd Innings
K. Brathwaite c wk Dickwella b Kumara 16
D. Smith b Lakmal 20
K. Powell not out 64
S. Hope c Mendis b Kumara 1
R. Chase b Herath 12
+S. Dowrich not out 11
Extras (b4, lb2, nb1) 7
Total (4 wkts, 40 overs) 131
Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-55, 3-75, 4-119.
Bowling: Lakmal 8-1-25-1, Gamage 8-2-23-0, Herath 11-1-22-1, Kumara 5-0-28-2, Perera 8-0-27-0.
Position: West Indies lead by 360 runs.
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: Aleem Dar, Richard Kettleborough; TV - Ian Gould.