Prasad strikes set West Indies back

Lunch West Indies 77 for 4 (Brathwaite 37*, Blackwood 0*, Prasad 3-19) trail Sri Lanka 200 by 123 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Dhammika Prasad bowled with typical zest and purpose on the second morning © AFP

If the West Indies bowlers rattled the batsmen on the first morning, today was the turn of Sri Lanka’s bowlers. Dhammika Prasad explored shorter lengths to begin with but soon settled into his groove and struck twice in the second morning session to add to the wicket of Shai Hope. He returned figures of 5-2-8-2 in an energetic first spell. Nuwan Pradeep exploited the uneven bounce well enough to complement Prasad while Rangana Herath continued to remain a wicket-taking threat. The session was capped with Milinda Siriwardana drawing a loose push from Marlon Samuels, and West Indies were 76 for 4 eight balls before lunch.

Kraigg Brathwaite also had some dicey moments but rode past them to show more application, to stay unbeaten on 37. Devendra Bishoo, the nightwatchman, was the first to go when he threw his bat outside off, nicking Prasad behind.

Prasad then welcomed Darren Bravo with one that misbehaved, snaking away wide outside off and then beat the outside edge with a full tempter. Prasad got the big eyes and the big smile going. What followed was a sequence of 19 dot balls with Sri Lanka burrowing into the middle order. Bravo was left scoreless for 11 balls and Samuels for 15. A few balls spat from a length while others kept low, asking more questions of the batsmen.

The build up of pressure told with Bravo offering an indecisive angled bat and chopping Prasad on for 2. Herath employed teasing flight and ripped one viciously past the outside edge of Brathwaite. Prasad’s first ball to Brathwaite on the second morning, which came 45 minutes after a delayed start due to a wet outfield caused by overnight rain, had the opener scooping just wide of short cover.

However, he managed to repel the attack briefly with regular trips down the pitch. Mid-off was whisked back and he helped himself to comfortable singles.

Samuels, on the other hand, looked far from comfortable. He survived two leg-before appeals on nought and two more before he was out, which meant that his struggle against Sri Lanka continued. If it was any consolation, though, Samuels avoided his ninth single-digit score against Sri Lanka in 16 innings, nudging his average to double-figures.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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