In the end, the second Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka at North Sound witnessed no results. But there were plenty of positives to take from the series for both sides. Sri Lanka, recently, have been in a slump in white clothes whereas, the West Indies have been more about just Twenty20-performers. Thankfully, in this Test series, both teams raised the hopes of improvements in the 5-day format in the coming days.
On the final day, the deck turned slower and lower providing little help for the West Indian pacers, who were hamstrung by the injury to Shannon Gabriel, rather, it provided help for the spinners as there was a substantial turn for the spinners and the deliveries misbehaved after pitching on the rough.
The West Indian pacers found the edge, but the slowness of the deck never let the ball carry to the slip cordon or the wicketkeeper even though there was a straightforward leg-side chance against the bowling of Gabriel in the third over the day. Joshua Da Silva dropped Lahiru Thirimanne when he was just 17.
Otherwise, both the openers – Thirimanne and Dimuth Karunaratne were well-poised at the crease and exploited the gaps with ease. But they were cautious as well because an aggressive approach might hit back in turn rather than proving productive. Thirimanne, Karunaratne, Oshanda Fernando and Dinesh Chandimal only soaked up the pressure and occupied the crease to see off the day.
Before that, the previous 4 days had been all about handling grit like the previous Test.
Suranga Lakmal dished out an outstanding opening spell in the morning session of Day 1 where the West Indian top-order decided to be adventurous and invited quick fall of wickets. The situation demanded Kraigg Brathwaite fix things with a gritty knock of 99 not out off 239 balls kept West Indies in the fight on Day 1.
Then on the second day, Rahkeem Cornwall enjoyed a productive knock to swell the total. Brathwaite hit a century as the hosts were all-out for 354- a very good score given the fact that the deck would demand more patience and technical efficacy in the fourth innings.
Chandimal and Thirmanne led the fight, still, on a rain-hit Day 3 West Indies struck through by claiming 5 more wickets costing 114 runs.
At the end of Day 3, Sri Lanka’s 250 for 8 did not give a very good picture, but the batting of Pathum Nissanka was very inspiring.
West Indies were in total command with the bat in their second innings as half-centuries from Brathwaite, Kyle Mayers and Jason Holder helped set up a target of 377 for the Lankans.
Well, the Lankans came out to avoid the defeat and their intention was clear.
It is very important to keep the confidence going rather than dent it by digesting a defeat in the name of winning hearts.