Top 5 Test matches of 2018
2018 was a result-oriented year in Test cricket. Out of 48 Test matches played, only five resulted in a draw. While two matches were drawn due to rain, two matches were drawn after a brilliant rearguard action. Only one Test remained resultless due to a one-sided batting track. In such a result-oriented atmosphere, we witnessed enthralling and pulsating encounters.
A great Test match is the one where both the sides gain advantage and eventually squander it. The see-saw keeps hinging towards one side after the other, ultimately settling down in one direction. These are the five Tests from 2018 where each team enjoyed an upper hand and suffered a downfall to snatch a victory from certain defeat.
#5 Windies versus Sri Lanka, Bridgetown, 23rd-26th January
The home side, Windies, stepped into the third and final Test match of series with a 1-0 lead over Sri Lanka. The visitors were missing three of their most prolific batsmen in Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews and Dimuth Karunaratne as they approached the day-night Test. The low-scoring thriller had an explosive start.
Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Kumara sent back Windies top order cheaply and left them reeling at 8/3. Fighting against the Lankan bowling and incessant rain, Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder scored in excess of 70 each and posted the first innings total of 204. Sri Lanka also suffered a dismal start and ended the second day with a score of 99/5.
The third day of the Test proved to be a record-breaking one. It featured three separate innings as the teams lost 20 wickets in the day. Earlier Sri Lanka was folded up for 154 runs as Holder ran through the tail. Sri Lankan pacers then combined to skittle Windies for only 93 runs. Chasing 144 runs to win, the visitors found themselves at 81/5 when the tumultuous day ended.
Holder nipped a wicket early on the fourth day and completed his five-wicket haul. The Pereras, Kusal and Dilruwan, kept the fight alive and battled through varying bounce, outside edges and body blows. The Bravehearts added 63 runs together to claim a memorable series-equalling win for Sri Lanka. This also made Sri Lanka the first Asian team to win at the Kensington Oval, Barbados.
West Indies 204 (Holder 74, Dowrich 71, Kumara 4-58) and 93 (Rajitha 3-20, Lakmal 3-25) lost to Sri Lanka 154 (Dickwella 42, Holder 4-19) and 144 for 6 (Kusal Perera 28*, Dilruwan Perera 23*, Holder 5-41) by four wickets.