The Colombo pitch showed further assistance for bowlers as wickets fell on Day Two of the second Test between Sri Lanka at the P Sara Oval. After a good showing on Day One of the Test, the West Indians failed to complement their bowling performance with their batting as the Sri Lankan bowlers came out on top.
The start to the day was delayed by 45 minutes due to a wet outfield that happened because of rain overnight. This did affect the West Indies batsmen, as Brathwaite closely survived the very first ball of the day.
Only opener Kraigg Brathwaite showed some resistance against the Sri Lankan bowling attack as he scored a patient 47 off 101 balls. The other batsmen failed to get going and convert their starts into useful knocks for their team as West Indies was bowled out for 163 before the final session of the day, trailing Sri Lanka by 37 runs.
Marlon Samuels, who was recently reported for suspect action, struggled against the Sri Lankan bowling attack as he took 53 balls to score 13 runs. Blackwood showed glimpses of repeating his batting display from the first Test but fell after scoring just 16 runs.
For Sri Lanka, fast bowler Dhammika Prasad bowled with intent and picked up four wickets. In his first spell of the day, Prasad picked up two wickets in five overs giving away only eight runs.
The remaining six West Indian wickets were picked up by the Sri Lankan spin trio of Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera and Milinda Sirirwardana. Perera picked up three wickets while all-rounder Siriwardana, playing his second Test, picked up two wickets. The experienced Herath picked up just one wicket.
Sri Lanka had a bad start to their second innings as Jerome Taylor sent in-form opener Dimuth Karunaratne back to the pavillion in the very first ball of the innings. Debutant Kusal Mendis and opening batsman Kaushal Silva stabilised the Sri Lankan innings by putting on 55 runs for the second wicket.
Mendis was looking in good touch until he lost his wicket to fellow debutant Jomel Warrican, who had picked up four wickets in the first innings. Dinesh Chandimal and Silva saw through the rest of the day as Sri Lanka ended Day Two on 76/2, with a lead of 113 runs.
West Indies bowlers will attempt to make use of the conditions available and try to bowl out the hosts as quickly as possible. On the other hand, Sri Lanka will be hoping that their batsmen can help pile on a huge lead and impose a challenging target to the Caribbeans.
Here are some interesting numbers from Day Two:
8 - Only eight runs have been made in total by the opening pair in the three innings of this Test.
3 - Dhammika Prasad's four-wicket haul in the first innings was his third in three Tests played at the P Sara Oval this year.
10.06 - Marlon Samuels’ career batting average against Sri Lanka in 16 Test innings. He has got the fifth worst batting average for a batsman against a particular team.
Sri Lanka 200 (Siriwardana 68; Warrican 4-67) & 76-2 (Mendis 39; Taylor 1-15)
West Indies 163 (Brathwaite 47; Prasad 4-34)