| Battling Fernando leads Sri Lanka fightback in 1st Windies Test

Oshada Fernando and Lahiru Thirimanne. (ICC - Twitter)

Oshada Fernando and Lahiru Thirimanne. (ICC – Twitter)

Oshada Fernando and Lahiru Thirimanne led a Sri Lankan fightback because the vacationers reached 255 for four of their 2d innings, a lead of 153, at shut of play on the third day of the first Test towards the West Indies in Antigua on Tuesday.

With the opposite Fernando within the personnel, immediate-medium bowler Visha, doing moral what changed into required within the taking the closing two West Indies first innings wickets before every thing of the day to brush apart the dwelling facet for 271, it changed into the fluent heart-deliver batsman Oshada who starred with an innings of 91 in a 162-mosey 2d wicket partnership with Thirimanne.

Fernando, in moral his eighth Test, came to crease within the fifth over of the innings when his captain Dimuth Karunaratne, failed for the 2d time within the match, driving loosely at Kemar Roach to present John Campbell a simple buy at third bound.

The 28-year-feeble Fernando changed into given a life on 17 when he changed into dropped at leg-bound by Jason Holder off off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall but regarded assured correct thru his innings which spanned 149 deliveries and incorporated 11 fours.

Fernando regarded destined for a 2d Test hundred till West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite, in what changed into both a moment of inspiration or desperation, brought on Kyle Mayers as his seventh bowler of the innings.

The occasional medium-pacer met with immediate success as Fernando pushed at his first ball, a corpulent-length offer moral outside off-stump, and edged a buy to wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva.

Mayers then removed Dinesh Chandimal in almost identical fashion two overs later.

When Roach returned for but every other spell and bowled the obdurate Thirimanne for 76 to appear at his first innings high rating of 70, Sri Lanka were wobbling at 189 for four.

Appropriate when the West Indies will pick up sensed an different to sweep away the comfort of the Sri Lankan batting, Dhananjaya de Silva and debutant Pathum Nissanka featured in an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 66 and would possibly possibly presumably possibly resume on the fourth morning looking out for to lengthen their overall lead beyond 250 to present themselves a combating chance of pulling off a come-from-on the motivate of victory.

“I mediate right here’s a proper batting pitch since it has flattened out properly,” stated Mayers in assessing the day’s toil, even with his double-strike.

“They had the simpler hand this day but the sport is still evenly poised.

“We moral prefer to rob up two early wickets (on the fourth day) and issues can peek very in a completely different design.”

Earlier, West Indian hopes of extending their 99-mosey in a single day lead ended within the 2d over of the day when Vishwa Fernando bowled Cornwall for a high rating of 61 and then trapped closing man Shannon Gabriel leg-sooner than without scoring.

Suranga Lakmal omitted out the tail but ended with career-easiest Test innings figures of 5 for 47, an development on the like a flash-medium bowler’s previous easiest of 5 for 54 towards New Zealand within the Boxing Day Test in Christchurch in 2018.

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