Sri Lanka strike back in rain-hit Test


PALLEKELE: Sri Lanka grabbed two wickets off successive overs to restore the balance in the third and final Test against the West Indies on Thursday. The West Indies were strongly placed at 241-3 before slipping to 244-5 in their first innings at stumps on a rain-hit second day.
Brendan Nash, who survived a run-out chance on 32, was unbeaten on 62 and Carlton Baugh had yet to open his account as only 41 overs were bowled in the day due to rain.
The West Indies lost well-set Shivnarine Chanderpaul (54) and Dwayne Bravo for a duck in the afternoon session, with spinners Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis taking one wicket apiece. The West Indies dominated the extended morning session as Nash and Chanderpaul applied themselves well after the early dismissal of overnight batsman Darren Bravo (68).
The pair put on 99 for the fourth wicket before the Sri Lankan spinners struck in quick succession.
Chanderpaul fell soon after he completed his first half-century of the series, sweeping left-arm spinner Herath for a four in the opening over of the afternoon session. He was brilliantly held by former captain Mahela Jayawardene, who took a low catch to his left at first slip off Mendis. He hit three fours in his patient 145-ball knock.
Chanderpaul survived on 38 when he asked for a review of the decision after being given out leg-before while attempting to reverse-sweep Herath. He was then ruled not out after TV replays showed the ball hit the gloves.
The West Indies suffered another blow in the afternoon when Herath had Dwayne Bravo stumped by Prasanna Jayawardene.
The West Indies added 95 to their overnight total of 134-2 for the loss of just one wicket in the morning, with Chanderpaul and Nash gathering runs comfortably against pace and spin.
Sri Lanka started the day with a double-pace attack and got a big wicket in the morning’s fourth over when Dilhara Fernando trapped Darren Bravo leg-before.
Bravo could add only five to his overnight score of 63, including a fluent cover-drive for a four off Fernando. He cracked 10 fours in a 117-ball knock for the third half-century of his maiden Test series.