West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite heaped praise upon Nkrumah Bonner and Joshua da Silva for their resilience after the West Indies lost the opening Test against Sri Lanka by 187 runs at Galle today (November 25) to fall behind 0-1 in the two-Test series.
Needing 348 for an unlikely victory, the West Indies were bowled out for 160 midway the final day of the match in which the hosts were in command from the opening day.
Resuming Thursday from their overnight score of 52-6, Bonner, who was on 18 overnight remained unbeaten on 68 at the end. He and da Silva, who was on 15 overnight, having rescued the West Indies from a precarious 18-6 on Wednesday, added an additional 66 runs on Thursday for a seventh-wicket partnership of 100 that delayed Sri Lanka’s march towards victory.
“I thought Joshua and Bonner, the way they fought from yesterday evening, was tremendous,” Brathwaite said at the conclusion of the match.
The 100-run partnership between Bonner and da Silva consumed 286 balls or 47.4 overs in a defiant stance that gave an element of respectability to the West Indies score.
Da Silva eventually fell for 54 shortly before lunch.
Bonner and Rahkeem Cornwall added 31 for the eighth wicket, the latter inexplicably throwing away his wicket for 13, holing out to long off trying to clear the boundary from a Praveen Jayawickrama delivery that was in the slot.
Jomel Warrican made one and Shannon Gabriel did not last much longer after that, dismissed without scoring after facing just six deliveries. The cruel irony is that the rains that might have saved the West Indies came five minutes after the last West Indies wicket fell.
Lasith Embuldeniya, who took three of the last four wickets to fall, ended with figures of 5-46. Ramesh Mendis, who destroyed the West Indies top order Wednesday returned figures of 4-64.
Brathwaite said, other than Bonner and da Silva, there were a few positives to take from the defeat.
“Gabriel getting two wickets, Roston getting five, we were decent, they (Sri Lanka) batted well but our batting let us down,” he said.
Sri Lanka’s captain Dimuth Karunaratne, who scored 147 and 83 was named Man of the Match