Sa’adi Thawfeeq reporting from Galle
GALLE: Rangana Herath spun Sri Lanka to an innings and six runs victory with a match haul of ten wickets over West Indies enabling his team to take a one-nil lead in the two-match series at the Galle International Stadium.
West Indies starting the day at 67-2 were dismissed for 227 with Jermaine Blackwood playing a lone hand scoring a defiant 92 off 135 balls (10 fours, 3 sixes) before being dismissed last attempting to farm the strike and being caught at deep extra cover.
The day for West Indies did not begin all that brightly as Herath who has been a thorn in their side with six wickets in the first innings struck a double blow in the fifth over of the day sending back nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo and Marlon Samuels (first ball) off successive deliveries.
He returned later to dismiss Kemar Roach for his fourth victim of the innings and his tenth of the match for figures of 10 for 147 – the fifth time in his career he has achieved this feat.
When Darren Bravo who had scored a half century in the first innings fell for 31, West Indies had lost half their side for 88.
However as in the first innings it was the West Indies lower order that did the bulk of the scoring.
Denesh Ramdin (11) helped Blackwood in a stand of 46 and there were further partnerships of 36 and 38 involving Blackwood and the tail that took West Indies almost close to avoiding an innings loss.
However apart from Herath the Sri Lankan fast bowlers also chipped in with some useful contributions.
Nuwan Pradeep got rid of the dangerous Bravo for 31 when he was getting into his stride and Dhammika Prasad once again showed how improved a bowler he is by capturing two important wickets that of Jerome Taylor and the final wicket of Blackwell to end with figures of two for 28 off 9.3 overs. What was impressive with his bowling was his tight line and length that enabled Herath to have some easy pickings from the other end.
Debutant Milinda Siriwardana also played his part. Although picked as a batsman he proved that he could be an useful all-rounder by picking up two wickets in the second innings that of opener Shai Hope and Ramdin.
With Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal scoring big hundreds the man of the match award was in contention. But Herath with his exceptional bowling on a pitch that was still good for batting beat them to it.
The second Test commences at the P Sara Oval on October 22.
SRI LANKA 1ST INNINGS 484
(D Karunaratne 186, D Chandimal 151, D Bishoo 4/43)
WEST INDIES 1ST INNINGS 251
(D Bravo 50, R Herath 6/68)
WEST INDIES 2ND INNINGS
K Brathwaite lbw b Herath 34
S Hope b Siriwardana 6
D Bravo c Perera b Pradeep 31
D Bishoo c Mathews b Herath 10
M Samuels lbw b Herath 0
J Blackwood c Silva b Prasad 92
D Ramdin c Silva b Siriwardana 11
J Holder run out 18
K Roach st Perera b Herath 5
J Taylor lbw b Prasad 5
S Gabriel not out 7
Extras (lb-3, nb-3, w-2) 8
Total (all out, 68.3 overs) 227
Fall of wickets: 1-18 (Hope), 2-60 (Brathwaite), 3-74 (Bishoo), 4-74 (Samuels), 5-88 (Bravo), 6-136 (Ramdin), 7-172 (Holder), 8-178 (Roach), 9-189 (Taylor), 10-227 (Blackwood).
Bowling: Prasad 9.3-3-28-2 (nb2, w2), Herath 22-5-79-4, Pradeep 14-1-28-1, Siriwardana 12-1-60-2, Kaushal 11-3-29-0 (nb1).
PICTURES BY LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI