GALLE: Rangana Herath took two wickets off successive deliveries to enhance Sri Lanka’s victory push against West Indies on the fourth morning of the first Test at the Galle International Stadium.
Herath’s double strike in the fifth over of the day saw West Indies crumble to 156 for six wickets in their second innings at lunch from their overnight score of 67-2. They still require 77 runs to avoid an innings defeat.
Herath removed nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo for 10 when he edged a catch to Mathews at slip and off the next delivery Marlon Samuels was ruled out lbw for a duck without offering a shot to a ball that was hitting middle and off. The batsman challenged the decision and lost the review.
However the most destructive blow for West Indies was struck by Nuwan Pradeep who produced a delivery which Darren Bravo had to play but only succeeded in getting an edge to wicket-keeper Kusal Perera.
Bravo who made a fifty in the first innings was out for 31 making West Indies 88-5.
Denesh Ramdin and Jermaine Blackwood added 46 for the sixth wicket and looked like taking West Indies to lunch without any further mishap when debutant Milinda Siriwardana struck half an hour before the break.
Attempting to drive a Siriwardana delivery Ramdin only succeeded in giving a catch to Kaushal Silva at second slip with his score on 11.
Skipper Jason Holder joined Blackwell and the pair took West Indies to lunch.
Blackwell batting resolutely was one runs shy of his half-century having hit one six and five fours in his 90-ball innings. Holder was unbeaten on eight, but West Indies faced an uphill task of saving the Test.
Scores: Sri Lanka 484;
West Indies 251 and 156-6 at lunch (Kraigg Brathwaite 34, Darren Bravo 31, Jermaine Blackwood 49 n.o., Rangana Herath 3/34, Milinda Siriwardana 2/60).