West Indies off-spinner Kraigg Brathwaite’s superb bowling spell gave West Indies a great chance of victory in the second Test of the Sobers/Tissera Series.
Brought on as the sixth bowler, he claimed outstanding figures of 11.3-4-29-6 as the visitors bowled out Sri Lanka for 206 in their second innings. This set up a victory target of 244.
The third day ended early due to heavy rain with West Indies on 20-1 – needing another 204 to win with two days left.
The 22-year-old Brathwaite had just one wicket, that of Rahul Dravid, in his previous 23 Tests. The performance was the best by a West Indian in Sri Lanka.
He was well backed up by outstanding fielding from Jermaine Blackwood who took a record five catches including four at first slip.
“I have been working on my bowling a lot in the nets and I wanted to make a contribution to the team. I have a lot of belief in my bowling,” Brathwaite said.
“I was in the captain’s ear telling him I could get the breakthrough, as we had two left-handers at the crease. My job was (also) to keep it tight and I ended up doing very well.”
He added: “We are in this match and we believe we can win. It won’t be easy but we have to remain positive and look to rotate the strike. The key to victory is partnerships…in the dressing room we are confident.”
Play resumes at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday (12:15 a.m. Eastern Caribbean time).