Bravo firm but spinners rattle West Indies

Lunch West Indies 163 and 112 for 4 (Bravo 55*, Ramdin 4*) need another 132 to beat Sri Lanka 200 and 206
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Darren Bravo scored his second fifty of the series © AFP

West Indies had squeezed out 14 partnerships of more than 20 in this series but none of them had passed 50, until the last day of the second Test. Shai Hope and Dwayne Bravo addressed the issue at the P Sara Oval and batted positively during a 60-run stand that raised hopes of victory.

Sri Lanka, however, hit back through spinners Milinda Siriwardana and Dilruwan Perera to snatch the initiative, leaving the visitors 112 for 4 at lunch, with Bravo unbeaten on 55.

Siriwardana, a batting allrounder, struck in his first over for the third innings in a row, having Hope stumped for 35. He followed that with the wicket of Jermaine Blackwood 20 minutes before the lunch. In between, offspinner Dilruwan Perera chipped in to prolong Marlon Samuels’ lean patch against Sri Lanka.

Samuels was dismissed for his ninth single-digit score against the hosts in 17 innings when he feebly poked and nicked to slip with Angelo Mathews completing a sharp, low catch. The dismissal was reviewed and Samuels was given out by third umpire Marias Erasmus, who decided Mathews had caught it cleanly even as the ball bounced out of his right hand and into his left.

West Indies, though, had begun the day brightly in overcast conditions, before letting the advantage slip. Hope was sure-footed and ticked along smoothly. He serenely drove Dhammika Prasad past mid-on, and greeted Rangana Herath with a pulled four.

Bravo was fidgety early on, playing and missing outside off to add to a few pokey drives. A Prasad half-volley provided a release and Bravo found his mojo as he drove it through the covers. He then stepped out and hit Dilruwan Perera onto the sightscreen before a repeat of the big hit brought up only the third fifty partnership of the match.

Though wickets fell at the other end, Bravo continued to use his feet with assurance, despite a silly mid-off lurking in front. He brought up his fifty off 90 balls but will have to do a lot more for West Indies to win their first ever Test in Sri Lanka.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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