Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder helped Windies recover from an early wobble and post 132 for 5 in the heavily truncated opening day of the third and final Test in Barbados on Saturday (June 23). Only 46.3 overs of play was possible on the first day of the first-ever Day-Night Test in the Caribbean after several rain interruptions in all three sessions.
In the lead up to the Test, Sri Lanka fought all the wrong battles. And as a result of that, made all the wrong noises. Dinesh Chandimal was suspended and things didn’t help when Jeffery Vandersay was sent back home because of disciplinary issues. That Rangana Herath failed to recover in time from his injury to walk into the playing XI set them back too. Suranga Lakmal was tasked to lead a depleted side and he gave them the perfect start after Windies, surprisingly, opted to bat on a green, lively surface.
Inside the first six overs, Windies found themselves stuttering at 8 for 3 with their top three ripped out of the equation. Lakmal sent back Devon Smith in the first over and then Kraigg Brathwaite in the fifth. Lahiru Kumara then accounted for Kieran Powell in the next over to leave the hosts wondering if they made the right decision at the toss.
Roston Chase and Shai Hope were tasked to repair the damage before the first rain interruption struck. Once the players came back onto the field, Windies were dealt with another unkind cut as they lost Chase just before Tea. Things further deteriorated once Hope was dismissed soon into the second session with just 53 on the board.
With half the side gone inside 24 overs, Holder’s worst nightmares were coming true as he walked out to bat. However, he, along with Dowrich, came up with some stern resistance to take the innings forward. They were positive and raised an unbeaten 79-run stand off 140 deliveries to take the team past 130.
Dowrich, in the process, also became the first Windies ‘keeper to score three half-centuries in all of the three matches in the series before the third interruption cut short the day’s play. Lakmal and Rajitha bagged two wickets apiece while Kumara had one as the visitors left all the controversies behind and made a promising start to their bid of levelling the series.
Brief scores: Windies 132/5 (Shane Dowrich 60*; Kasun Rajitha 2-36) vs Sri Lanka.
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