Corn­wall pegs back hosts but WI face tough fi­nal day

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka (CMC): OFF-SPIN­NER RAH­KEEM Corn­wall made key strikes to limit Sri Lanka A af­ter West Indies A’s bat­ting col­lapsed, but the hosts held the edge head­ing into to­day’s fi­nal day of the third and fi­nal four-day Test here.

Sri Lanka ended day three of the con­test at the Ran­giri Dambulla In­ter­na­tional Sta­dium yes­ter­day on 211 for five in their sec­ond in­nings – al­ready 286 runs ahead.

Asela Gu­naratne top-scored with 69, San­dun Weer­akkody struck 48, while Roshen Silva was un­beaten on 29 at the close.

Corn­wall, the main­stay of the vis­i­tors’ at­tack dur­ing the series, claimed four for 62 to take his tally of wick­ets for the three­match series to 20.

Ear­lier, West Indies A sur­ren­dered their last six wick­ets for 60 runs to be dis­missed for 243 in their first in­nings and con­cede a lead of 75 runs.

Re­sum­ing on 183 for four, they lost their cap­tain Shamarh Brooks for 54 af­ter he had added just 11 runs to his overnight 43, while Corn­wall chimed in with 25.

Seamer Ka­sun Madushanka (3-45) and left-arm spin­ner Lak­shan San­dakan (3-54) both claimed three wick­ets apiece, while pacer Lahiru Ga­m­age ended with two for 50.

West Indies A were set back early when Brooks per­ished in the day’s fifth over with the score on 199, af­ter fac­ing 100 de­liv­er­ies and strik­ing seven fours.

His demise trig­gered a slide from which the vis­i­tors never re­cov­ered as the last five wick­ets went down for the ad­di­tion of just 32 runs.

The only bats­man to show re­sis­tance was Corn­wall, who punched two fours and a six in a busy 30-ball knock.

RO­BUST START

Bat­ting a sec­ond time, Sri Lanka were handed a ro­bust start by Weer­akkody and Kusal Per­era, who put on a brisk 67 off 62 de­liv­er­ies.

Weer­akkody faced just 36 balls and struck seven fours, while Per­era hit a sin­gle four in 31 balls at the crease be­fore he de­parted to a catch at the wicket off Corn­wall.

In the bowler’s next over, with five runs added, Weer­akkody fol­lowed via the leg be­fore wicket, but top-scorer Gu­naratne then led a re­cov­ery by an­chor­ing two half-cen­tury part­ner­ships.

The 30-year-old right-han­der put on 58 for the third wicket with cap­tain Lahiru Thi­r­i­manne, who made 27 off 76 de­liv­er­ies be­fore adding a fur­ther 51 for the fifth wicket with Silva.

Gu­naratne faced 126 de­liv­er­ies and struck ten bound­aries be­fore fall­ing about 40 min­utes be­fore the close to a catch at the wicket off seamer Keon Joseph.

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