The West Indies bowlers didn’t make inroad on a placid pitch
Sri Lanka 146 for two (Fernando 75, Oshada 66*) and 258 (Thirimanne 55, Nissanka 51, Roach 3-58) drew with West Indies 354 and 280 for 4 dec (Brathwaite 85, Holder 71*, Mayers 55, Lakmal 2-62)
Dimuth Karunaratne hit 75 and soaked up 176 deliveries in a century stand with Lahiru Thirimanne, and Oshada Fernando struck an unbeaten half-century of his personal later within the day, as Sri Lanka comfortably batted out a attract Antigua.
Lacking Shannon Gabriel for a part of the day resulting from a hamstring criticism, West Indies had been solely in a position to take two Sri Lanka wickets on a pitch that had turn into slower and decrease for the quicks and but didn’t take substantial flip for the spinners. Solely the occasional supply misbehaved, and that was normally out of the tough.
Every of the 4 Sri Lanka batsmen who got here to the crease on this innings appeared comfy. Even when the quicks sometimes took the sting, the ball was prone to die effectively earlier than it reached the slip cordon, so long as it had been performed with comfortable fingers. Rahkeem Cornwall, in the meantime, threatened the within edge along with his straighter deliveries, however not one of the thick edges was a viable catch for the fielder at quick leg. At no stage was there the dramatic, quick flip – typically seen in South Asia on the fifth day – to envenom the gradual bowlers.
It was the 101-run opening stand that laid the platform for Sri Lanka’s profitable resistance. Thirimanne was dropped on 17 within the third over of the day when wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva failed to know an easy leg-side probability off the bowling of Gabriel. However in any other case, the openers had been safe proper by means of that session, defending resolutely and discovering common runs into the outfield, principally sq. of the wicket.
Karunaratne was particularly adept at shuffling throughout the stumps, closing his bat, and hitting into leg-side gaps. In actual fact, 55 of his runs (73%) got here on that facet of the pitch, with all however one in every of his 9 boundaries scored there. He accomplished a half-century shortly earlier than lunch, having hit some memorable on-drives, to go along with his leg-side flicks.
Thirimanne was extra cautious, venturing solely two boundaries within the morning, maybe pushed to reticence by the early probability he gave up. When he was dismissed for 39 off 114 nicking a full Alzarri Joseph supply to first slip the place Cornwall took a pointy, low catch, Karunaratne slowed down too. Though at occasions in his innings Karunaratne was hanging at over 50, his eventual strike charge was 43. Sri Lanka had very clearly determined the goal of 377 was going to be an excessive amount of of a stretch (it all the time appeared extraordinarily unlikely).
Oshada, likewise, didn’t appear to be overly troubled both by the pitch or West Indies’ depleted assault. He hit out solely towards the really wayward balls, choosing up frequent singles in between the large pictures. He scored extra rapidly than the openers, reaching his half-century off the 86th ball he confronted, however then buckled down quickly after. He was 66 not out off 119 when Kraigg Brathwaite determined no consequence was attainable and the match was known as off. With Karunaratne having been dismissed by Kyle Mayers late within the second session, Oshada had Dinesh Chandimal for firm for the 20 overs that had been performed within the third session. Chandimal made 10 off 66 deliveries.
Ultimately, this Antigua floor’s refusal to take substantial spin even on the again finish of each Assessments allowed groups to bat confidently within the fourth innings, drastically decreasing the possibility of a consequence. The footmarks didn’t play a considerable function, and spinners didn’t turn into severely threatening in both Check.
The 0-0 consequence means Sri Lanka didn’t win any of their collection within the Caribbean, having misplaced the T20Is 2-1 and the ODIs 3-0. They do keep their No. 7 rating in Assessments, nonetheless, preserving West Indies at eight.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf