Holder, Mayers, Cornwall help West Indies avoid follow-on, Sri Lanka still 162 run ahead.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 386 (Karunaratne 147, de Silva 61, Chase 83/5) lead West Indies 224/9 (Mayers 45, Brathwaite 41, Jayawickrama 3-38) by 162 runs at Stumps on Day 3
After Sri Lanka spinners flattened the Caribbean batting order yesterday, the former were looking to bundle up West Indies below the follow-on mark today morning. However, West Indies tailenders effected a marvellous fightback in the first session of the day.
Kyles Mayers and Jason Holder rescued their team from trouble
All-rounder Kyle Mayers and Jason Holder stitched a vital partnership in the morning session. Both batters played sensibly with occasional boundaries. However, after fifteen overs, Mayers got caught by Karunaratne at short cover on the score of 45, as he edged a delivery bowled by Dhananjaya de Silva.
After Mayers lost his wicket, Holder was looking to play some big strokes to score runs quickly. Holder smashed one gigantic six over mid-wicket. Soon after, Dushmantha Chameera caught Holder on the score of 36.
Rahkeem Cornwall and Joshua Da Silva added 61 runs for ninth wicket to avoid follow-on
Again West Indies looked in trouble due to these two quick wickets but lower-order batters Rahkeem Cornwall and wicketkeeper batter Joshua Da Silva weaved another partnership for the ninth wicket.
Especially, Cornwall charged down against the Sri Lankan spinners. He hammered two boundaries in the over of Praveen Jayawickrama. With the first boundary of Cornwall in this over, West Indies avoided follow-on as they crossed the mark of 187 runs. He also smoked a humongous six over deep mid-wicket off spinner Ramesh Mendis. He followed it with two more boundaries. Both batters added 61 runs in this vital partnership.
Cornwall departs after doing his job; rain plays spoilsport
At last, speedster Suranga Lakmal bagged the wicket of Cornwall on 39 as Mendis took his catch at mid-wicket.
After the ninth wicket fell, showers of rain started. As showers continued on and off till the end of play on Day 3, umpires called stumps.
It remains to be seen whether rain interrupts proceedings on the final two days. If it does then we might be headed for a draw. Still, it will be safe to say that Sri Lanka could hope to have an upperhand if they force matters.