COLOMBO –– Debutant spinner Jomel Warrican claimed four wickets to wrap up the Sri Lankan innings at 200, two hours into the final session on the first day at the P Sara Oval in Colombo today.
In response, the West Indies lost Shai Hope lbw to Dhammika Prasad in the first over but Kraigg Brathwaite and nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo hung around before deteriorating light forced stumps early.
The left-arm orthodox spinner recorded figures of 4 for 67 from 20 overs as the West Indies boosted their chances of levelling the two-Test series following an innings defeat in the opening game.
Milinda Siriwardana (68) was the only bright spot for Sri Lanka, stroking six fours and smoking two sixes en route to a maiden Test fifty after the hosts had elected to bat.
Sri Lanka were on the back foot from the first over with Windies quick Jerome Taylor (2-50), who came through a late fitness test after struggling with a groin problem, having Kaushal Silva (0) given out caught behind on review.
Taylor consistently hit speeds above 140kph. He struck with his fourth ball –– a beauty that angled in and curved away, leaving Silva prodding and edging to the wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin. West Indies reviewed and the third umpire Marias Erasmus decided there was enough evidence to overturn umpire Rod Tucker’s on-field decision of not out.
The home side stumbled to 59 for 4 at lunch, Jason Holder (2-22) trapping Dimuth Karunaratne (13) lbw before technology proved debutant Kusal Mendis (13) had nicked off and skipper Angelo Mathews (13) had picked out Brathwaite at slip.
Siriwardana began a rebuilding job upon the resumption, adding 31 with Dinesh Chandimal (25) before the latter chopped on to Taylor and then sharing a 37-run stand with Kusal Perera (16).
Warrican dismissed Perera caught and bowled prior to tea and, after being clubbed for a couple of sixes by Siriwardana, the spinner got the half-centurion when he tempted him to drill to Taylor at long-off.
Warrican – who had seen fellow spinner Bishoo capture the recalled Dilurawan Perera (5) – then forced Dhammika Prasad (7) to edge a sharp turning delivery behind and completed a fine performance by pinning Nuwan Pradeep (0) lbw.
He had begun his spell earlier with a half-tracker, which was dispatched by Mathews to the point boundary with a strong cut. He settled down quickly, and twirled away in an uninterrupted 14-over spell after lunch. His reward came off a bad ball: Perera stepped out and spooned a return catch off a full toss, becoming th left-armer’s maiden Test victim. Having received his Test cap from West Indies icon Sir Garfield Sobers, it turned out to a happy day for Warrican.
It wasn’t so happy for Hope though. The young Barbadian opener departed for single figures for the fifth time in nine Test innings. But West Indies would have been pleased at their day’s overall showing.
Sri Lanka earlier dropped Lahiru Thirimanne and Tharindu Kaushal to facilitate the inclusion of Mendis and Perera, while Warrican earned his Test bow after replacing right-arm paceman Shannon Gabriel.
Sri Lanka 1st Innings
D Karunaratne LBW Holder 13
K Silva c Ramdin b Taylor 0
K Mendis c Ramdin b Roach 13
D Chandimal b Taylor 25
D Mathews* c Brathwaite b Holder 14
M Siriwardana c Taylor b Warrican 68
K Perera+ c & b Warrican 16
K Perera st Ramdin b Bishoo 5
R Herath not out 26
D Prasad c Ramdin b Warrican 7
N Pradeep LBW Warrican 0
Total: 200 All Out (66 Overs)
Extras (b 10, lb 3) 13
Fall of Wickets: 1-1 (Silva, 0.4 ov), 2-34 (Karunaratne, 10.5 ov), 3-34 (Mendis, 11.2 ov), 4-59 (Mathews, 20.3 ov), 5-90 (Chandimal, 34.1 ov), 6-127 (MDKJ Perera, 43.4 ov), 7-149 (MDK Perera, 51.3 ov), 8-173 (Siriwardana, 58.2 ov), 9-200 (Prasad, 65.4 ov), 10-200 (Pradeep, 65.6 ov).
West Indies 1st Innings Bowling: J Taylor 15-2-50-2, K Roach 12-4-30-1, J Holder 11-1-22-2, J Warrican 20-2-67-4, D Bishoo 8-0-18-1.
West Indies 1st Innings
K Brathwaite not out 4
K Hope LBW Prasad 4
D Bishoo not out 5
Total 17 for 1 (5.2 overs)
Toss: Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat
Test Debuts: Kusal Mendis (Sri Lanka), Jomel Warrican (West Indies)
Series: Sri Lanka 1-0 West Indies
Umpires: Simon Fry (Australia) & Rod Tucker (Australia)
TV Umpire: Marais Erasmus (South Africa)
Match Referee: David Boon (Australia)