Lasith Embuldeniya (5/46), Ramesh Mendis (4/64) help Sri Lanka seal the victory on Day 5.
Brief Scores: West Indies 160 (Bonner 68*, Da Silva 54, Embuldeniya 46/5, Mendis 64/4) & 230 (Mayers 45, Brathwaite 41, Jayawickrama 40/4) lost to Sri Lanka 386 (Karunaratne 147, de Silva 61, Chase 83/5) & 191/4d (Karunaratne 83, Mathews 69, Warrican 42/2) by 187 runs.
Sri Lanka took a 1-0 lead in the 2-Test series against West Indies after winning the Galle Test by 187 runs on the back of some great efforts from their spinners - Ramesh Mendis, Lasith Embuldeniya and Praveen Jayawickrama – and skipper Dimuth Karunaratne’s brilliant batting.
Sri Lanka started with spinners from the first over on fifth day morning
As West Indies floundered to reach the position of 52-6 which was too close to losing the first Test match at Galle yesterday, the Sri Lankan team wanted to pick the remaining four wickets to bag the game quickly in the morning today.
However, unbeaten batters from yesterday - Nkrumah Bonner and Joshua Da Silva - defied the Sri Lankan spinners for many overs. They tried to defend maximum balls to buy more time as there was rain forecast today; also, they put occasional balls to the boundary rope. All-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva and Lasith Embuldeniya started the bowling in the morning session. Also, Sri Lanka didn’t take much time to introduce the most successful bowler of this Test - Ramesh Mendis – to the attack.
Joshua Da Silva, Nkrumah Bonner added 100 runs for seventh wicket to delay loss
The ball was turning miles from the first over in the morning for Sri Lankan spinners. However, the pair of Da Silva and Bonner continued to bat cautiously and refused to concede a wicket to the spinners. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t have a few close calls against threatening opponent spinners. The closest of all was a catch of Joshua Da Silva dropped by Pathum Nissanka at leg-slip when Ramesh Mendis induced an edge.
Bonner took few chances to plunder boundaries. Also, there was a run-out chance to get out Da Silva though SL skipper Dimuth Karunaratne missed it. Both batters completed 100 runs of their side in the meantime.
Nissanka dropped another tough catch, this time of Bonner on 36 at short cover. Bonner survived an LBW appeal on 41 with the help of DRS which showed the ball was missing the stumps by a big margin due to unreal turn off the pitch. Da Silva reached his third half-century in 121 balls. Both batters took their partnership to a three-figure mark which led to frustration among host players. Read More: SL vs WI - 1st Test, Day 3, Galle - Tailenders help WI avert follow-on, end rain-hit day on 224-9
Embuldeniya strikes first to open the floodgates
After 20 overs in the morning, Sri Lanka got their first wicket as Embuldeniya bowled close to Da Silva’s body after which the ball turned away from the batter late, which resulted in a fine edge off the bat and Dhananjaya de Silva didn’t make any mistake at first slip to send the WI wicketkeeper to the pavilion on 54.
Big man Rahkeem Cornwall came in to the middle and smashed a four behind square off Embuldeniya. Bonner completed his third half-century in a staggering 181 balls by smashing a boundary off Embuldeniya towards deep backward square leg. Sri Lanka had to return to the pavilion for lunch with only one wicket in the bag.
Lasith Embuldeniya bagged five-for to hand a big loss to visitors
After lunch, Cornwall missed two close appeals, however, he went for a big shot at long-off and picked the fielder Suranga Lakmal to head back to the pavilion on just 13.
West Indies wanted rain to rescue them from the inevitable loss in this Test now as they were far from any chance of saving the Test with only two wickets in hand. However, as rain stayed away from Galle, Sri Lankan tweakers didn’t take much time to wind up the West Indies innings. Embuldeniya picked Jomel Warrican and Shannon Gabriel in consecutive overs and completed his five-wicket haul. Bonner remained unbeaten on 69. West Indies got all-out on 160, to lose the first Test match by 187 runs.
The second Test will be played at the same venue from November 29-December 3.
Read More: SL vs WI - 1st Test, Day 2, Galle - Ramesh Mendis (3-23) reduces WI to 113-6; SL lead by 273 Read More: SL vs WI - 1st Test, Day 1, Galle – Karunaratne’s unbeaten-132 peppers SL to 267-3 at stumps