West Indies misplaced two early wickets however are sitting comfortably answerable for the match with a 269-run lead
Tea West Indies 173 for 3 (Brathwaite 60*, Mayers 55, Lakmal 1-13) and 354 (Brathwaite 126, Cornwall 73, Lakmal 4-94) lead Sri Lanka 258 (Thirimanne 55, Nissanka 51, Roach 3-58) by 269 runs
West Indies raised the tempo on the fourth afternoon, going at a price of three.71 throughout the 28 overs bowled since lunch, to stretch their result in 269. What’s extra, whereas Kraigg Brathwaite backed up his century within the first innings with 60 not out, West Indies misplaced solely the wicket of Kyle Mayers for 55 off 76 balls on this session, and nonetheless have seven wickets in hand. Given this, they’ve the choice of batting much more aggressively within the night, and a declaration doesn’t appear out of the query earlier than the top of play.
There was a bit of misfortune in Sri Lanka’s state of affairs, nevertheless. They didn’t have their primary spinner Lasith Embuldeniya on the sphere, after he appeared to significantly injure a groin muscle making a sliding cease in the course of the sixth over of West Indies’ innings. He writhed in agony on the bottom for a number of minutes, earlier than he was wheeled off the sphere on a stretcher and brought to a neighborhood hospital for an MRI scan. There was no official phrase but, nevertheless it doesn’t seem as if he’ll play any additional half on this match.
In any case, it was the Brathwaite-Mayers stand, price 82, that propelled West Indies’ ahead of their second innings. Mayers was quiet to begin, however was sometimes aggressive as soon as he acquired his bearings. He hit eight fours in his innings, together with six by the legside as he rocked again to pull balls throughout the road, notably by midwicket, on a sluggish floor. He survived a detailed lbw enchantment in opposition to the bowling of Dhananjaya de Silva – DRS confirmed the ball to be clipping the bails, umpire’s name – however was in any other case largely untroubled till his eventual dismissal when he was given lbw to Suranga Lakmal. Once more, the ball was clipping the bails, however this umpire’s name went in favour of the bowling workforce.
By way of all of this, Brathwaite marched slowly, and largely steadily. Though his defence has been excellent all by this match, he additionally survived a dropped catch. On 34, he clipped Dushmantha Chameera to brief leg just for Oshada Fernando to fumble a pointy overhead probability. In any other case, Brathwaite was content material leaving lots, blocking much more, and selecting up runs into the outfield largely in entrance of the wicket, such is the character of the pitch. One-hundred-and-fifty balls in, he has hit just one boundary – a 4 by cowl off a brief de Silva supply within the first session.
Within the morning, Lakmal had John Campbell nicking behind for 10. However Brathwaite then placed on a 44-run stand with Jermaine Blackwood, who had been promoted to No. 3 rather than the injured Nkrumah Bonner. Blackwood was out edging a Chameera bouncer, having already been dropped by Lahiru Thirimanne at first slip earlier within the innings.
Proper initially of the day, it had taken lower than 5 overs for West Indies to take the 2 remaining Sri Lanka wickets. Pathum Nissanka did full a fifty, nevertheless, to observe his debut century from the final sport.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf