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Rajitha makes Sri Lanka breakthrough as Windies toil

NEWS
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64   //    15 Jun 2018, 22:24 IST

Gros-Islet (Saint Lucia), Jun 15 (AFP) Debutant Kasun Rajitha got the breakthrough just before lunch as the West Indies reached the interval at 65 for one in reply to Sri Lanka's first innings 253 on the second day of the second Test here today.

One of four changes to the Sri Lankan side that lost the first Test in Trinidad by 226 runs, Rajitha benefited from Kraigg Brathwaite's continuing indecisiveness outside the off-stump.

Twice dismissed at the Queen's Park Oval via an outside edge to the wicketkeeper, the West Indies vice-captain was again snared by Niroshan Dickwella as Rajitha, the 25-year-old fast-medium bowler, exploited the home vice-captain's area of vulnerability.

Brathwaite's contribution to a painstaking opening stand off 59 was 22 off 79 deliveries.

After his double-failure in the first Test, Devon Smith played with similar caution against tight, disciplined Sri Lankan bowling in overcast conditions. He will resume in the afternoon session on 29 off 80 deliveries alongside Kieran Powell.

Smith's only boundary hits came in the same over off spinner Akila Dananjaya, who the left-hander hoisted for a four and then a six off successive deliveries.

Otherwise it has been a slow, tedious grind on a pitch that continues to assist the faster bowlers.

Although he has so far gone wicketless, Lahiru Kumara again impressed with his pace and hostility.

After taking seven wickets in the first Test, he has effectively taken on the role of the leader of the Sri Lankan bowling attack, especially in the absence of veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.

He posed a constant threat throughout the morning session with short-pitched deliveries that tested the batsmen's technique and resolve

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