West Indies stretch lead over Sri Lanka past 400
Port of Spain, June 9 (AFP) Kieran Powell missed out on a century but the West Indies further solidified an already dominant position at lunch on the fourth day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Trinidad on Saturday.
West Indies lost three wickets, including Powell for 88, in the morning session as they reached 209 for seven in their second innings at the Queen's Park Oval despite losing three wickets in the morning session in reaching The hosts, who declined to enforce the follow-on despite a 229-run first-innings lead, now have an overall advantage of 438 runs with three wickets in hand.
The tail-enders have an opportunity to accelerate the scoring to set up a declaration by captain Jason Holder which would allow his frontline bowlers enough time to push for victory going into the final day on Sunday.
Holder showed his positive intent when he was out just before the break, trapped leg-before for 39 attempting a reverse sweep against veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath. Before that, the general tenor of the first two hours of play, as 78 runs were added from the overnight position of 131 for four, suggested that the West Indies were always thinking of batting into the afternoon to effectively eradicate any chance the Sri Lankans might have entertained of successfully chasing a daunting target.
Most attention was focused on Powell at the start of play.
The left hander had impressed with his elegant strokeplay in reaching 64 overnight, and looked on course to reach three figures in partnership with the first innings century-maker, Shane Dowrich.
However fast-medium bowler Lahiru Kumara, who has enjoyed an excellent match, trapped Dowrich lbw on the back foot with a delivery that jagged back sharply to the little right-hander to earn his seventh wicket of the match.
Holder replaced his fellow-Barbadian, putting on 42 for the sixth wicket before an error of judgement by Powell brought an end to his innings on 88. He failed to get to the pitch of the ball as he attempted a leg-side flick off spinner Dilruwan Perera. Substitute fielder Jeffrey Vandersay took a good catch diving forward at midwicket.
Powell's innings occupied 127 deliveries and was embellished with two sixes and seven fours