The second Test between the West Indies and Sri Lanka rested on a knife’s edge on Wednesday (December 1), after the visitors established a slim lead on the third day of the rain-affected match at Galle.
At stumps, Sri Lanka is on 46-2 still three runs behind the West Indies first innings total of 253.
The West Indies owed their slim advantage to a patient knock of 72 from Captain Kraigg Brathwaite, 35 from Nkrumah Bonner and a crucial innings of 36 from Kyle Mayers that was key to the West Indies getting a 49-run lead on the first innings.
Brathwaite and Bonner, on 22 and one, respectively, overnight after the West Indies had lost Jermaine Blackwood for 44 on Tuesday, added 68 runs to their partnership and seemed relatively untroubled until Ramesh Mendis trapped Bonner in front to leave the West Indies at 139-2.
The visitors went to lunch at 145-2 but Sri Lanka, led by Mendis, who finished with 6-70 began to slice through the West Indies line up.
Brathwaite was first to go after lunch. With the score on 166-2, the West Indies skipper misjudged a delivery from Lasith Embuldeniya and was bowled, ending his four-and-a-half-hour stay at the crease.
Shai Hope and Roston Chase followed for 10 and 22, respectively, as the West Indies slipped from 166-2 to 197-7.
Mayers would come to the rescue with a solid 36 that helped to a 49-run lead.
Embuldeniya provided support to Mendis with 2-94 while Praveen Jayawickrama took 2-59.
Sri Lanka’s second innings got off to a bad start as Dimuth Karunaratne was run out for six. Oshado Fernando was run out for 14 as the home team got to 39-2 as close of play approached.
However, Pathum Nissanka remained unbeaten on 21 with debutant Charith Asalanka at the other end on 4.