A draw was the most probable result in the second Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka after the rain interruptions on Day 4 and 5, along with the hosts’ late declaration. That, unless Sri Lanka self-imploded, which didn’t happen in the end as the visitors’ batsmen resisted West Indies’ attack to draw the second Test and end the series 0-0 on Friday (April 2).
After West Indies dominated the limited-overs leg of Sri Lanka’s tour, the visitors only gave a better account of themselves in the Tests, with a drawn series quite a rarity in today’s day and age. There was very little separating the sides in the end, with both teams fighting hard and until the end. If West Indies’ batsmen displayed stoic resistance to draw the first Test, Sri Lanka’s batsmen returned the favour in the second. Starting the final day with 348 runs to get, it was obvious which was Sri Lanka were leaning in the opening session. The opening pair of Lahiru Thirimanne and Dimuth Karunaratne saw off West Indies’ bowlers in slow-moving, wicketless session with a draw looming large. That, after a late start to the day after rain had forced a delay.
Karunaratne, who had struggled through the series, stepped up when it mattered the most, and scored a half-century, looking good for a ton too. However, after Thirimanne fell soon after Lunch, he fell on the brink of Tea for 75, leaving West Indies with a chance of a comeback. However, Dinesh Chandimal (10) and Oshada Fernando (66) kept West Indies at bay as they ensured no further damage was done, ending the game on 193 for 2.
Joshua Da Silva had a forgettable day behind the stumps, spilling two chances. First, Thirimanne, then Fernando, which if were taken, who knows which direction the game could’ve gone. Sri lanka stuck to their end goal of batting out the day, despite losing two wickets in the second session. West Indies would’ve had their hopes raised after striking just after the break when Thirimanne played a loose shot to edge to slip after the Lunch break. However, Karunaratne and Fernando were stoic in their reply, not giving West Indies any chance for a long time in the session. It wasn’t until Kyle Mayers got Karunaratne on the brink of Tea, who was getting a bit of reverse swing leading into the wicket. He struck Karunaratne on the pads with one coming back in.
West Indies would think they were a tad unlucky to have not been able to make inroads in the opening session. They stuck to their lines and lengths and posed timely questions to Sri Lanka’s opening pair, but Karunaratne and Thirimanne ensured no damage was done, keeping West Indies at bay taking Sri Lanka to Lunch on 93 for no loss. The start of play on the fifth day was delayed due to rain. The start was pushed by an hour after a couple of spells of rain at the front. All for a draw in the end with handshakes earlier than scheduled close time with the two sides sharing the silverware.
Brief Scores: West Indies 354 & 280/4 dec (Brathwaite 85, Holder 71*, Mayers 55; Lakmal 2-62) drew with Sri Lanka 258 (Nissanka 51; Roach 3-58) & 193/2 (Dimuth Karunaratne 75, Lahiru Thirmanne 39, Oshada Fernando 66*).