NORTH SOUND: Sri Lanka lost their two overnight batsmen in a rain-interrupted session as the West Indies restricted the tourists to 189 for five in reply to their first innings total of 354 at lunch on the third day of the second and final Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Wednesday.
Shannon Gabriel finally claimed his first wicket of the series, the fast bowler generating sustained, disconcerting pace to account for Dinesh Chandimal while Dhananjaya de Silva fell to the occasional off-spin of Jermaine Blackwood.
Pathum Nissanka, who marked his debut in the first Test a week earlier at the same venue with an excellent second innings hundred, and wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella will continue in the afternoon session, weather permitting.
Resuming at the overnight position of 136 for three, Chandimal and Dhananjaya were immediately challenged by the consistent hostility of Gabriel, who looked completely out of sorts in the first Test but, for the first time in this brief series, was firing on all cylinders.
Chandimal was lucky to escape when a diving Rahkeem Cornwall could not hold on to catch at first slip but the former captain’s luck ran out when, unsettled by a blow on the hand earlier in the over, he could not control a hook shot to a lifting delivery on the body and substitute fielder Hayden Walsh Jr completed the comfortable catch at deep square-leg to remove Chandimal for 44.
His fifth-wicket partnership with De Silva was worth 75 runs.
With the lunch interval beckoning West Indies had even greater cause for celebration when De Silva was adjudged leg-before for 39 to the first delivery of the morning bowled by Blackwood.
Although the batsman trudged off the field dejectedly, television replays of the dismissal confirmed that the decision would have been overturned had he opted for a DRS referral.