Sri Lanka scored 113 for one wicket at close of the first day’s play as bad light stopped play with 10.2 overs to spare in the second test against West Indies which started at Galle International Cricket Stadium yesterday. The weather once again interrupted this game with only 34.4 overs being bowled on the opening day after persistent rain effectively washed out the morning and afternoon sessions and the game started after tea at 3 pm.
Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and without any hesitation chose to bat first on this Galle pitch and were able to make a solid start with Pathum Nissanka adding 106 runs in 31 overs. This was the fifth consecutive 100 runs test open partnership for Sri Lanka while 23-year-old Pathum Nissanka was associated with Karunaratne in both first innings of this West Indies series to laid a good foundation.
Nissanka was more aggressive yesterday with making his third Test fifty which came in 74 balls struck four fours and a six while Karunaratne made a slow start to give good support to the youngster. West Indies paceman Jason Holder and Kemar Roach who replaced Shanon Gabriel shared the new ball but Sri Lankan openers well controlled the game to build up the Innings. Skipper Kreigg Brathwaite was tried to use three paceman Holder, Roach, and Kyle Mayers during the first 16 overs and then introduced spinners to the attack after 16 over.
The off-spinner Roston Chase made the only breakthrough of the day with getting a return catch to dismiss Karunaratne in the 31st over. The left-hand opener who was unfortunately dismissed with eight runs away from his well-deserved half-century hit six boundaries in his 90 balls innings. Karunaratne who was in good form with six consecutive half-centuries In his last six Test innings had a good chance to equal the world record of seven consecutive fifties missed just eight runs away to complete fifty yesterday. His last six Test innings were 83, 147, 66, 118, 244, and 75. World Record shared by six other players Everton Weeks, Kumar Sangakkara, Andy Flower, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Rogers, and K.L. Rahul have all scored seven consecutive fifties in Test cricket.
After skipper Karunaratne’s s departure Oshada Fernando joined with Nissanka till the end of the day Sri Lanka was 113 for one with Nissanka was remaining 61 in 109 balls hitting four boundaries and a six. Fernando was unbeaten two in 10 balls.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, have chosen to strengthen their batting, with their seam bowlers having at times been superfluous in the first match. Dushmantha Chameera has been left out in place of Charith Asalanka, who made his Test debut, having had an excellent T20 World Cup over the past six weeks. The remainder of Sri Lanka XI remains unchanged.
Meanwhile, West Indies also decided to include left-arm spinner Verasammy Permaul also comes into the side, making his first Test appearance since 2015. He displaces Rahkeem Cornwall the off-spinner, which means they also used the same strategy of Sri Lanka with two key leg spinners and an off-spinner. West Indies named two frontline left-arm spinners in the XI, with Jomel Warrican also there. All-rounder Roston Chase, who took a five-wicket haul in the first match, is their primary off-spinning option. In addition, Kemar Roach, who was controversially left out for the first game, returned and Shannon Gabriel was out of this game.