NORTH SOUND: Sri Lanka claimed wickets at both ends of a dour morning session which produced just 59 runs as they restricted West Indies to 72 for two in reply to the tourists’ paltry first innings of 169 on the second day of the first Test on Monday.
In between the dismissals of captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Nkrumah Bonner, the hosts crawled along with a second-wicket partnership of 56 in 21 overs between Bonner and fellow-Jamaican John Campbell.
Having seen Braithwaite fall to a regulation catch at second slip by Dhananjaya de Silva off seamer Suranga Lakmal without any addition to the overnight score, Campbell and Bonner rode their luck through almost the entire session in the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Bonner should have been dismissed at third slip when on 17, only to be recalled after television replays showed fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera had delivered a no-ball.
Neither batsman was able to dominate the disciplined Sri Lankan attack but they looked set to reach lunch safely until Bonner fell. Attempting to pull a short ball from left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya, Bonner was struck high on his right thigh, prompting umpire Gregory Brathwaite to give him out leg before.
Bonner reviewed the decision but the replay showed the ball would have clipped the top of off stump and he departed for 31.
Campbell, who has batted for almost three hours and faced 116 deliveries for his unbeaten 27, will resume in the afternoon session in partnership with Kyle Mayers.
On Sunday, former captain Jason Holder took five wickets to help the hosts seize control. Relieved of the captaincy after five-and-a-half years the all-rounder returned impressive figures of five for 27 off 17.4 overs.
Holder’s eighth five-wicket innings haul in Test cricket included the important scalp of Lahiru Thirimanne during the final session of the day as the tourists’ last five wickets tumbled for just 19 runs.
Thirimanne had offered stout resistance to all the West Indies bowlers for just short of five hours before he dragged a delivery onto his stumps to depart for 70 off 180 deliveries.
Holder also terminated the only meaningful resistance from the Sri Lankans when wicket-keeper/batsman Niroshan Dickwella was caught at first slip for 32 to end a sixth-wicket partnership of 58 with Thirimanne.
Wicketless and unlucky in the morning session, Kemar Roach grabbed two wickets in the afternoon session and added a third amid the post-tea collapse. The 32-year-old’s final analysis of 3-47 from 16 overs lifted his haul of Test wickets to 208 in his 62nd match.
Deprived of early success when Jermaine Blackwood missed a simple chance at backward-point off Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne, Roach earned the rewards for his persistent efforts by bowling Dhananjaya de Silva and then having debutant Pathum Nissanka superbly taken by a diving Holder at second slip to leave the visitors languishing at 92 for five.
SRI LANKA (1st Innings):
F.D.M. Karunaratne c Campbell b Cornwall 12
H.D.R.L. Thirimanne b Holder 70
B.O.P. Fernando run out 4
L.D. Chandimal c da Silva b Holder 4
D.M. de Silva b Roach 13
P. Nissanka c Holder b Roach 9
N. Dickwella c Cornwall b Holder 32
R.A.S. Lakmal c Brathwaite b Holder 3
L. Embuldeniya lbw b Holder 3
P.V.D. Chameera b Roach 2
M.V.T. Fernando not out 1
EXTRAS (B-4, LB-6, W-5, NB-1) 16
TOTAL (all out, 69.4 overs) 169
FALL OF WKTS: 1-17, 2-29, 3-54, 4-76, 5-92, 6-150, 7-160, 8-163, 9-164.
BOWLING: Roach 16-2-47-3 (1nb); Gabriel 9-2-22-0 (3w); Cornwall 14-6-25-1; Joseph
11-2-32-0; Holder 17.4-6-27-5 (2w); Mayers 2-0-6-0.
WEST INDIES (1st Innings, overnight 13-0):
K.C. Brathwaite c de Silva b Lakmal 3
J.D. Campbell not out 27
N. Bonner lbw b Embuldeniya 31
K.R. Mayers not out 2
EXTRAS (LB-3, NB-5) 9
TOTAL (for two wkts, 37 overs) 72
TO BAT: J. Blackwood, J. da Silva, J.O. Holder, A.S. Joseph, K.A.J. Roach, R.R.S. Cornwall, S.T. Gabriel.
BOWLING (to-date): Lakmal 14-4-31-1 (3nb); M.V.T. Fernando 9-5-5-0; Chameera 8-1-23-0 (2nb); Embuldeniya 5-2-9-1; de Silva 1-0-1-0.