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Bowlers cement West Indies’ strong position on rain-hit Day 3



Joseph picked up a couple of wickets

Joseph picked up a couple of wickets © AFP

On a day, when rain intervened multiple times, the West Indies found themselves in ascendancy at stumps on Day 3 of the Antigua Test. Sri Lanka were 250 for 8, still behind by 104 at close of play. Alzarri Joseph and Jason Holder took two scalps each.

Just over 42 overs were bowled on the truncated day, with the West Indies pacemen making their presence felt by taking wickets at regular intervals. The day began with Shannon Gabriel bowling a fiery spell to trouble the overnight pair of Dhananjaya de Silva and Dinesh Chandimal.

In the opening over itself, Chandimal fended a nasty short delivery from Gabriel that fell just in front of the FSL fielder. The tall fast bowler then went fuller to tempt Chandimal to edge one towards the slip cordon, only for Rahkeem Cornwall to drop a sharp chance at gully.

Gabriel, though, didn’t have to wait for long as he forced Chandimal to pull, with the fielder at deep square leg grabbing an easy catch. Jermaine Blackwood then won an LBW appeal against de Silva to leave the tourists in a spot of bother. To make matters worse for Sri Lanka and de Silva, the ball-tracker showed it would have missed the leg-stump. The umpires then had to call for early lunch due to rain.

The afternoon session too was marred by rain with the hosts getting the chance to bowl only 10 overs. Jason Holder and Alzarri Joseph, though, made the short session count by bowling with good discipline to send Niroshan Dickwella and Suranga Lakmal back to the hut.

Rain intervened once again as more overs were lost. When play resumed, Holder and Joseph troubled the lower order batsman, Dushmantha Chameera, with a slew of short balls and the fuller length delivery. The ploy worked with Chameera eking out an edge in the 98th over.

At the other end, Pathum Nissanka, playing in only his second Test, was a picture of calmness. He showed solid front foot defence, alongside cracking the occasional cut shot. He also steered Sri Lanka to stumps, with rain and damp patches ensuring that only around 12 overs were bowled in the third session.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 250/8 (Lahiru Thirimanne 55; Kyle Mayers 1-10) trail West Indies by 104 runs.

© Cricbuzz



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