Dhananjaya, Nissanka give Sri Lanka significant 279-run lead ahead of Day 5
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 328 for 8 (Dhananjaya 153*, Permaul 100/3) & 204 (Nissanka 73, Permaul 35/5, Warrican 50/4) trail West Indies 253 (Brathwaite 72, Mendis 70/6) by 3 runs at Stumps on Day Four
Sri Lanka started the fourth day of the second Test match at Galle at the score of 46/2. As Sri Lankans lost their first two wickets yesterday while taking singles, which were really not needed, they were under pressure to stitch a partnership on the fourth morning.
Visitor spinners wanted to run through the batting line-up of hosts to get as low a target as possible in the fourth innings of the Test match. Unbeaten batting pair from yesterday, Pathum Nissanka and Charith Asalanka, started cautiously in the morning.
After taking his time, Asalanka was looking for some runs by playing attacking strokes. He smoked a huge six over the deep mid-wicket boundary off left-arm spinner Veeraswamy Permaul. However, Asalanka was caught by Nkrumah Bonner at short leg against the same bowler as a delivery bowled by Permaul spun big to take the edge of the bat of Asalanka and rested in the hands of short leg fielder Bonner.
Dhananjay de Silva and Pathum Nissanka put up vital stand for the fourth wicket
As Sri Lanka lost their third wicket, they were panicking as they were on the edge of a batting collapse, which could have put them out of this game. Next batter Dhananjaya de Silva and his partner Nissanka played the situation beautifully to put a significant partnership on the board.
Also, Caribbean wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva dropped one tough catch of de Silva off the delivery of Permaul, which proved very costly at the end. Both batters continued to take few singles every over to keep the scoreboard ticking. In the meantime, Nissanka completed his second fifty of this game, as he has already smashed a vital half-century in the first innings. Dhananjaya looked in fine touch and smashed two graceful back-to-back boundaries off speedster Kemar Roach. Read More: SL vs WI - 2nd Test, Day 3, Galle - Mendis' 6-70 restricts WI to 253; SL trail by 3 runs at stumps
Roston Chase scalped two wickets to put Caribbeans in a dominant position
The batting pair of Nissanka and De Silva added 78 runs on the board before the wicket of the former was taken by West Indies. He got out LBW off a delivery bowled by spinner Roston Chase. The decision of the umpire was reviewed by the batter, but it returned as umpire’s call which sent Nissanka back in the hut.
Umpires took lunch after the wicket of Nissanka. After the break, the next batter Dinesh Chandimal couldn’t stay on the pitch for long as he got caught and bowled by Chase on just 2 runs, which put the hosts in big trouble and West Indies came back in the game.
Dhananjaya de Silva milks runs on the other end
Dhananjaya continued to bat freely, even if his side was losing wickets at the other end. He swept two boundaries off left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican after completing his half-century in 97 deliveries. The batting pair of Dhananjaya and Ramesh Mendis helped their side reach 200 to take a vital lead of over 150 runs. Mendis tried to attack part-time spin bowler skipper Kraigg Braithwaite but ended up giving a catch to Kemar Roach at deep mid-wicket on a personal score of 25.
Sri Lanka lose three wickets in short interval
Although hosts were already six-down, former skipper Angelo Mathews didn’t come to bat. Lower order batter Suranga Lakmal joined Dhananjaya in the middle. Lakmal danced down the wicket to club a gigantic six over long-on, however, he got out LBW on just 7 off a delivery of orthodox spinner Permaul.
As Sri Lanka looked in grave danger of getting all-out after losing seven wickets, veteran player Mathews came to assist Dhananjaya. However, he got caught by Jermaine Blackwood at the slip off Permaul on his fifth ball. As Sri Lanka lost their eight wickets, opponents were looking dominant to bundle out hosts below a lead of 180 runs.
Lasith Embulndeniya weaves century partnership with Dhananjaya de Silva
However, lower-order batter Lasith Embuldeniya was prepared for the battle to follow. He continued to defend all balls cautiously to give well-settled batter Dhananjaya more time to add quick runs to the team total. On the other end, Dhananjaya reached the nervous nineties by clobbering an elegant six over the long-on boundary. Sri Lanka finished their second session with a score of 238 for eight.
Dhananjaya completes his eighth century
After the Tea break, Dhananjaya completed his century in the first few overs in 189 deliveries. After completion of his century, he charged down on the visitor spinners to hammer a boundary and a six, which cleared long-on fielder Roach.
Permaul dropped a crucial catch of Dhananjaya. Dhanajaya’s bat was beaten by a few turning deliveries but he never edged the ball which frustrated opponent spinners. Both batters put on a vital stand to help their side over 300. Dhanajaya completed his 150 with a boundary towards extra cover.
Embuldeniya, who kept defending deliveries till now, walked down the pitch to smack the ball over the sightscreen. The batting pair added 100 runs for the ninth wicket. Hosts finished the day on 328 for eight at stumps on the fourth day.
What lies ahead?
With only one day remaining in the Test match, Sri Lanka would try to declare the innings early tomorrow or on the overnight score of 328, as they are leading the visitors by 279 runs.
Sri Lanka have the upper hand in this game now as chasing 280 runs on this rank-turner is an unthinkable thing for a team which is comparatively weak in facing spinners.