It was a stop-start third day in this second Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka in Antigua. Only 42.1 overs were bowled, but West Indies made some crucial in-roads and are all set to take a significant lead in this game. Sri Lanka ended the day at 250 for 8 and still trail by 104 runs. They have Pathum Nissanka unbeaten on 49.
Rain played spoilsport and made several appearances which allowed only 42.1 overs of play on day three of this second Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka in Antigua. However, that was enough for West Indies to make some important in-roads and take control of this Test match.
Sri Lanka started the day with a score of 136/3. Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva were well set. They had already put on 59 runs for the fourth wicket. Shannon Gabriel began to proceedings, and he induced the edge from Chandimal in the first over of the day, but Rahkeem Cornwall dropped a sharp chance at gully.
It didn’t hurt West Indies at all as Gabriel bounced out Chandimal and had him caught at deep square-leg. Pathum Nissanka, who scored a ton on debut in the first Test, joined de Silva in the middle, and the duo stroked a few boundaries and was going well before part-time spinner Jermaine Blackwood struck. And West Indies couldn’t have asked for a more timely wicket as it came an over before the second new ball as Blackwood had de Silva LBW. The Sri Lankan all-rounder did not opt for the review, and the ball-tracking showed it was missing the leg-stump. It was a big miss for Sri Lanka as it was a well-set de Silva who was dismissed.
A couple of overs after that wicket, the rain came down hard, and the umpires called for early lunch. The afternoon session was a truncated one as well as the rain continued to pour in Antigua. West Indies could bowl just ten overs in that post-lunch session, but it was a fruitful one. An over after the resumption of play in the second session, West Indies took the second new ball. Jason Holder and Alzarri Joseph struck on their respective ends as they sent back Niroshan Dickwella and Suranga Lakmal, respectively.
Rain once again interrupted play, and a lot of overs were lost. When play started again in the third session, the West Indies bowlers banged it in short against the lower order batsmen. The tactic worked as Dushmantha Chameera nicked one to the wicket-keeper off Jason Holder. Only about 45 minutes of play was possible in the third session as the rain intervened again. The downpour did relent, but with wet spots in most places around the ground, the umpires called stumps on the third day.
Amidst all the chaos, Nissanka, who is playing just his second Test match, remained calm and stoic. He was solid in defence and didn’t let go of any scoring opportunities either. He fought a lone battle at one end and took Sri Lanka to stumps. He is unbeaten on 49 at one end and has Lasith Embuldeniya at the other end, who has faced 11 balls without scoring a run.
West Indies are well ahead, and they will be hoping to wrap the Sri Lankan innings quickly on the fourth day. Play will start 30 minutes early on day four to make up for the lost time.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 250/8 (Thirimanne 55, Nissanka 49*, Chandimal 44, Holder 2/39, Joseph 2/64) trail West Indies 354 (Brathwaite 126, Cornwall 73, Mayers 49, Lakmal 4/94, Chameera 3/69) by 104 runs.