Dowrich ton deflates Sri Lanka

A resolute century from Shane Dowrich and his determined partnerships with the lower-order batsmen helped Windies build their total on Day 2 of the first Test in Port of Spain. In 52 overs across two sessions, only 104 runs were added, with Devendra Bishoo and Kemar Roach helping Dowrich in a stonewalling effort that kept Sri Lanka at bay while helping the hosts to 350 for 7 at Tea.

The partnership for the seventh wicket between Dowrich and Devendra Bishoo, which lasted for nearly 50 overs, frustrated Sri Lanka in an extended second session on Day 2. It was a partnership that started in the final session on the opening day and went well into the the post-lunch period the following day as Dowrich and Bishoo added 102 off 299 deliveries, showcasing tremendous patience and application, to keep the Sri Lankan bowlers waiting.

The entertainment quotient may have been lacking, but there was no shortage of resilience as Dowrich and Bishoo’s single-minded approach was to wear the opposition down, and in the process build the total. At the start of the session, there were a couple of loose shots – an attempted drive by Dowrich that went through the vacant fourth-slip area for a four and a lofted drive from Bishoo that just about evaded the fielder at mid-off. Barring those, there was hardly any show of aggression from Dowrich and Bishoo, who were content to play the waiting game.

The sedate approach acted like a barricade that blocked out any avenue for a wicket for Sri Lanka and in the process both Dowrich and Bishoo played their longest Test innings of their careers. It was well after Windies had crossed 300 that Bishoo attempted to have a go at the short deliveries from the pacemen, which resulted in a couple of boundaries. However, in what was a rare occasion of a lapse in concentration, an attempt to slash at a Suranga Lakmal delivery resulted in Bishoo’s dismissal for a 160-ball 40.

But Sri Lanka’s anguish did not end with that wicket as Roach proved an able ally for Dowrich as he managed to hold his own. Having survived a leg-before review from Sri Lanka, Roach took 24 deliveries to get off the mark while Dowrich, at the other end, was in no hurry to reach the three-figure mark. He eventually got there, off the final ball before Tea, with the eighth-wicket association yielding 11 runs off 71 balls.

It was slow going for Windies in the first session as well, one that was curtailed by rain. Showers moments before the start of Day 2 caused a 50-minute delay and only 9.1 overs were bowled before rain returned, with Windies having added 22 to their overnight total. That was sufficient time for Dowrich to become the first half-centurion of the innings and for Bishoo to get off the mark, which he did off his 33rd delivery. The Sri Lankan pacers went past the outside edge multiple times in the shortened session but there were no rewards for them as their seventh wicket pair remained defiant.

Brief scores: Windies 350/7 (Shane Dowrich 100*, Devendra Bishoo 40; Lahiru Kumara 3-84) vs Sri Lanka.

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