Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Sri Lanka spinners dominate as Galle Test hangs in balance. Mendis, Jayawickrama and Embuldeniya picked all ten wickets to fall.
Mendis, Jayawickrama and Embuldeniya picked all ten wickets to fall.
Sri Lankan spinners scripted a sensational turnaround to keep the game in the balance at the end of the third day in Galle. Ramesh Mendis bagged six wickets to keep West Indies to 253 before the hosts closed the day 46 for 2, to trail by just 3 runs at Stumps.
For close to one and a half sessions, it seemed West Indies will bat Sri Lanka out of the contest. After scoring just two runs in the opening 26 deliveries, Kraigg Brathwaite and Nkrumah Bonner settled in for a steady 75-run stand. Brathwaite struck the opening boundary of the day – in the 35th over against Lasith Embuldeniya – and Bonner followed it up with one in the next over against Praveen Jayawickrama to get things going. Brathwaite was much more positive in the 37th as he took on Embuldeniya and bagged two consecutive fours to put pressure on the spinner.
Between overs 35 and 39, West Indies got six boundaries to get going. The pair brought up the 100 in the 43rd over and Brathwaite got his 23rd Test half-century in the 47th off 135 balls. Sri Lanka finally managed a breakthrough with less than 15 minutes left in the session when Bonner was trapped in front by Ramesh Mendis. The batter did challenge the call and lost the review too as Sri Lanka managed to break the threatening stand.
In the opening hour of the second session, Sri Lanka managed to get the big wicket of Brathwaite as Lasith Embuldeniya bowled the West Indies captain. West Indies were 166 for 3 at that stage and soon slipped to 197 for 7 courtesy Mendis. In four overs, Mendis broke West Indies' resistance. He struck in the first over after drinks as he removed Roston Chase for 10. Shai Hope was trapped in front in Mendis's next over as the visitors soon slipped to 191 for 5.
Mendis then followed it up with twin strikes in the 87th over – removing Jason Holder and Joshua Da Silva in consecutive deliveries – before Kyle Mayers kept out the hat-trick ball. Kemar Roach was dropped by Dinesh Chandimal but fell two balls later to Praveen Jayawickrama but by then West Indies had taken the first-innings lead.
Veerasammy Permaul and Kyle Mayers frustrated the hosts a touch before Tea and helped the side take the lead to 31. Their eventual 38-run stand was instrumental in West Indies bagging a handy lead of 49 as Mendis, Jayawickrama and Embuldeniya picked all ten wickets to fall.
Sri Lanka then suffered a self-inflicted wound as Dimuth Karunaratne was run-out in the second over for 6. Oshada Fernando and Pathum Nissanka scored 32 for the second wicket before another run-out saw the former walk back to the dressing room. Charith Asalanka and Nissanka saw off the day to ensure no more damage was done and the game continued to stay in the balance.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka204 & 46/2 trail West Indies 253 (Kraigg Brathwaite 72; Ramesh Mendis 6-70) by 3 runs.