Windies draw second Test and series with Sri Lanka
NORTH SOUND – West Indies were hamstrung by the loss of strike bowler Shannon Gabriel and a docile pitch, and settled for a draw with Sri Lanka in the second Test in Antigua.
Gabriel limped off the field in the fourth over after lunch with a pulled hamstring and the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium pitch did not deteriorate significantly, and the Sri Lankans batted through the rain-marred final day to reach 193 for two in their second innings, having put away plans of chasing a victory target of 377 early.
Windies captain Kraigg Brathwaite delved deep into his bag of tricks to try to come up with the winning formula, but Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne hit top score of 75 and Oshada Fernando enhanced his record with an unbeaten 66 to lead the defiance for the visitors.
The result meant that the two-Test series ended in a 0-0 draw, after the first Test ended in similar fashion two Thursdays ago at the same venue.
It also meant that West Indies failed in their effort to take hold for the first time since its inception six years ago of the Garfield Sobers-Michael Tissera Trophy, symbol of Test supremacy between the two sides.
The Windies were also denied a chance of moving up from eight to seven in the ICC World Rankings ahead of Sri Lanka, whose fifth trip to the Caribbean once again ends without an elusive Test series win in this part of the world.
West Indies endured a fruitless toil before lunch, after Sri Lanka continued from their overnight total of 29 without loss.
Play started 35 minutes later than scheduled because of rain and only two overs were possible before the weather again intervened with Sri Lanka 38 without loss.
The players returned to field 20 minutes later and Gabriel was left fuming, when wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva spilled a chance down the leg-side, after Lahiru Thirimanne, on 17, gloved a short, rising ball.
That was the closest the Windies came to a wicket before reached went into lunch on 93 without loss.
After lunch, Gabriel broke down, and Alzarri Joseph broke through for West Indies in the next over, when he had Thirmanne caught at first slip for 39.
The Windies endured another long wait before Kyle Mayers trapped Karunaratne lbw in the final half-hour before Sri Lanka reached tea at 146 for three.
After tea, Brathwaite tried to make things happen, but Fernando and Dinesh Chandimal, not out on 10, batted through until the two teams ended the match by mutual consent about 20 minutes before the regularly scheduled close.
Brathwaite was named Player-of-the-Match for scoring his ninth Test hundred in the first innings and 85 in the second innings, and Sri Lanka pacer Suranga Lakmal was named Player-of-the-Series for his metronomic bowling that earned him 11 wickets at 21.45 apiece.
WEST INDIES 354 (Kraigg Brathwaite 126, Rahkeem Cornwall 73, Kyle Mayers 49, Jason Holder 30, Alzarri Joseph 29, Jermaine Blackwood 18; Suranga Lakmal 4-94, Dushmantha Chameera 3-69) and 280 for four declared (Kraigg Brathwaite 85, Jason Holder 71 not out, Kyle Mayers 55, Joshua da Silva 20 not out, Jermaine Blackwood 18, John Campbell 10; Suranga Lakmal 2-62, Dushmathan Chameera 2-74).
SRI LANKA 258 (Lahiru Thirimanne 55, Pathum Nissanka 51, Dinesh Chandimal 44, Dhananjaya de Silva 39, Niroshan Dickwella 20, Oshada Fernando 18; Kemar Roach 3-58, Jason Holder 2-39, Alzarri Joseph 2-64) and 193 for two (Dimuth Karunaratne 75, Oshada Fernando 66 not out, Lahiru Thirimanne 39, Dinesh Chandimal 10 not out).