While the visitors Sri Lanka have managed a strong start in the last Test, West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite’s desperate battle has helped the hosts to fight back.
Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne chose to field first after winning the toss. West Indies ended the day on 287/7.
West Indies vs Sri Lanka 2021, 2nd Test: Day 1 – Kraigg Brathwaite is one run away to complete his century
Sri Lankan pacer Suranga Lakmal brought a great start for the visitors as he dismissed opener John Campbell (5) and Nkrumah Bonner (0) inside the first 10 overs of the day.
But then captain and another opener Kraigg Brathwaite and Kyle Mayers handled the situation with a good partnership. Though Lakmal had another chance to dismiss Mayers very cheaply, Pathum Nissanka put down that early chance at the third slip. At lunch, West Indies scored 86/2.
On the third ball of the second session, Vishwa Fernando got the wicket of Mayers for 49 off 61 balls (8 fours) while the Caribbean team were still looking for their first run of that session. Lakmal later dismissed Jermaine Blackwood for 18 runs as he was smartly caught behind by the wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella.
Then Brathwaite and Jason Holder put the 51 runs partnership for the fifth wicket. Just some minutes before the tea break, Holder lost his wicket to Dhananjaya de Silva after scoring 30 runs. During the early period of that partnership, captain Brathwaite completed his half-century, who was also dropped at gully around the first half-an-hour of the second session. West Indies scored 171/5 at the tea break.
In the third session, Dushmantha Chameera got the wicket of Joshua Da Silva (1). Alzarri Joseph later scored 29 runs before Lasith Embuldeniya took his wicket as West Indies were struggling on 222/7.
But Brathwaite didn’t accept his defeat any way while Rahkeem Cornwall once again came to rescue his team with the bat. At the end of the opening day, they had the 65 runs partnership for the unbroken eighth wicket where Brathwaite scored 99 not out off 239 balls with the help of 11 fours and Cornwall scored 43 not out off 54 balls (6 fours and only six). In the last moment of the day, Brathwaite became the 16th West Indies cricketer to score 4000 Test runs.
Suranga Lakmal is the only Sri Lankan bowler who took more than one wicket on the day as he finished the day with bowling figures of 20-8-71-3.
Brief Scores: West Indies – 287/7 (Kraigg Brathwaite 99*, Kyle Mayers 49; Suranga Lakmal 3/71)