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West Indies close in on first innings lead as rain interrupts play

1 April 2021 12:10 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Shannon Gabriel celebrates taking the wicket of Dinesh Chandimal


West Indies put themselves in a good position to gain a first innings advantage with their bowlers sharing the spoils as Sri Lanka slipped to 217 for 7 before rain led to a stoppage in play on the third day of the second Test in Antigua yesterday.  

It was the third rain stoppage for the day, as the tea break approached, leaving Pathum Nissanka, Sri Lanka’s last recognized batsman, unbeaten on 23 with the visitors still 137 runs behind. 
With Nissanka was Dushmantha Chameera who was yet to get off the mark. 

For the West Indies Alzarri Joseph accounted for two wickets, while Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Kyle Mayers and Jermaine Blackwood all chipped in with a wicket each. 
Sri Lanka lost their two overnight batsmen in a rain-interrupted first session as the West Indies restricted the tourists to 189 for five in reply to their first innings total of 354 at lunch.
Gabriel finally claimed his first wicket of the series, the fast bowler generating sustained, disconcerting pace to account for Dinesh Chandimal while Dhananjaya de Silva fell to the occasional off-spin of Jermaine Blackwood.

Resuming at the overnight position of 136 for three, Chandimal and de Silva were immediately challenged by the consistent hostility of Gabriel, who looked completely out of sorts in the first Test but, for the first time in this brief series, was firing on all cylinders.

Chandimal was lucky to escape when a diving Rahkeem Cornwall could not hold on to catch at first slip but the former captain’s luck ran out when, unsettled by a blow on the hand earlier in the over, he could not control a hook shot to a lifting delivery on the body and substitute fielder Hayden Walsh Jr. completed the comfortable catch at deep square-leg to remove Chandimal for 44. 

(With agency inputs)

His fifth-wicket partnership with De Silva was worth 75 runs.

With the lunch interval beckoning West Indies had even greater cause for celebration when De Silva was adjudged leg-before for 39 to the first delivery of the morning bowled by Blackwood.
Although the batsman trudged off the field dejectedly, television replays of the dismissal confirmed that the decision would have been overturned had he opted for a DRS referral. 
Nissanka, from there, struck up a 26-run partnership with Niroshan Dickwella but that association was broken in the fourth over after the new ball was taken. 

Dickwella, on 21, was initially given not out after the home team appealed for a caught behind, but reviews showed that there was an edge before the ball hit his pad and was caught by wicket-keeper Joshua de Silva. 

Suranga Lakmal struck one boundary in his contribution of six, before he was Joseph’s second wicket. 




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