Sri Lanka maintained the pressure on Windies as they went into the Dinner break on 75 for 2 on the second day of the third Test in Barbados on Sunday (June 24). The visitors now trail by 129 after Windies were shot down for 204 after half-centuries from Jason Holder (74) and Shane Dowrich (71).
Sri Lanka got off to a poor start in the session as they lost as Kusal Perera fell for a duck in the very first over after the Tea break. The mode of dismissal too should have displeased the visiting camp as the opener went after a wide one only to be caught behind. Mahela Udawatte too lasted just 18 deliveries before he was sent back by Kemar Roach. With the team wobbling at 16 for 2, Windies had started entertaining hopes of keeping Sri Lanka to a below-par total. However, Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis scored unbeaten 59 for the third wicket to steady the innings and thwart those hopes.
Gunathilaka was given a life in the 22nd over when he was caught at short cover but Miguel Cummins overstepped. Apart from that blip, the duo showed some exceptional application to help the side recover from the early stutter and then put the pressure back on Windies. However, they’ll be well aware that plenty of work lies ahead of them as they prepare for another tricky phase of batting under the lights. But with the new ball threat out of the equation for now, they are likely to find it relatively easy to counter Windies under lights unless the hosts come up with something special.
Earlier in the day, slight drizzle delay delayed the start of proceedings but bright blue skies welcomed the teams for the crucial session. With the old pink ball not offering much movement, Sri Lanka had to bank on the bounce on offer and the two-paced nature of the track. They kept probing but both Dowrich and Holder rode their luck to survive the first hour.
Holder, particularly, lived a charmed life as edges either went away from the fielders or fell short during his 123-ball stay. Starting on 132 for 5, Windies needed the set duo to carry on and lift the team out of trouble. They did just that with Holder scoring more freely after starting from his overnight score of 33. He registered his seventh Test half-century to take the team forward while Dowrich held one end up.
The ‘keeper-batsman fell first, when he was trapped plumb in front by Lahiru Kumara in the 56th over. Windies had 168 on the board then but lost two more quick wickets – of Devendra Bishoo and Holder – to slip to 189 for 8. Kemar Roach and Miguel Cummins pushed the total past 200 to frustrate the visitors even more before they were shot down for a modest score.
Brief scores: Windies 204 (Jason Holder 74, Shane Dowrich 71; Lahiru Kumara 4-58) lead Sri Lanka 75/2 (Kemar Roach 2-13) by 129 runs.
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