5-day cricket is supposed to be the toughest format of the game, especially if you are playing away from home in different climatic conditions and on different pitches. Sri Lanka felt these issues as they played Windies in the 1st Test of this 3-match series, losing by a massive margin of 226 runs.
Now they had to come back stronger in the 2nd Test, and that’s exactly what they did, but they couldn’t grab a victory. An unbeaten century (119*) from the captain Dinesh Chandimal got them up to 253 in the 1st innings but Windies took the lead, scoring 300 in their 1st innings.
As usual in the Caribbean, swing bowlers were hugely assisted, and after Shannon Gabriel’s 5-for, Sri Lanka’s Lahiru Kumara also picked up 4/86. Sri Lanka put up a much better performance in their 2nd innings, scoring 342, thanks to 87 from Kusal Mendis and a quickfire 62 from Niroshan Dickwella.
The highlight of this innings however, was Gabriel, who picked up a career-best 8/62, putting up a fine display of test match bowling and taking his match tally to 13 wickets. They then had to chase down 296 on the final day of the match, but a Sri Lankan win or a draw seemed more likely results.
Early wickets pegged back the home team to 8/2, in addition to an injury to Shai Hope. Sri Lanka soon became high favourites by the lunch break on Day 5, but a couple of rain interruptions came to save the Windies. They ended the day’s play at 147/5, and Sri Lanka would’ve felt hard done by this draw. Windies now lead the series 1-0 with one match to be played. Man of the Match: Shannon Gabriel.
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