2nd Test - Sri Lanka Vs West Indies - Day 4 (Antigua)
Sri Lanka faces an uphill task on the final day of the second cricket Test against the West Indies who set the visitors a stiff target of 377 on the penultimate day in Antigua on Thursday.
Sri Lanka will resume on 29 for no loss on a pitch that looks unpredictable for both batsman and bowler with the track sometimes proving to be flat while at the same time keeping low and also offering bounce to the bowlers.
The Sri Lankan opening pair of Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne went through nine anxious overs on the previous day and will have one of the toughest challenges in the morning session on the final day.
But where the Sri Lankans lost out was in their inability to curb the West Indies batsmen from playing shots and compiling the runs to declare at 280 for 4 after they grabbed the last two wickets in the opening overs of the day as the tourists resumed from an overnight 250 for 8.
Opener and West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite, unlike in the first innings when he had to inch his way to a ninth Test century, played with relative ease to make 85 before a ball from fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera crept under his bat and crashed into the stumps.
He made 85 and was associated in a 72-run stand for the third wicket with Kyle Mayers who cracked 55 with eight fours before a ball from Suranga Lakmal trapped him leg-before.
But enjoying a 94 runs first innings lead the West Indies were never too concerned over losing wickets and to make things worse for the Sri Lankans the top-ranked Test all-rounder Jason Holder went after the bowlers and played his shots freely before they declared at 280 for 4, a lead of 376 runs.
Holder made an unbeaten 71 from 88 balls that had seven hits to the ropes and shared in an unbroken 53-run stand for the fifth wicket with Joshua Da Silva who remained unbeaten on 20.
Sri Lanka's only consolation on the day was middle order batsman Pathum Nissanka Silva making a half century (51) before he pulled a ball and was caught at deep square-leg as they were bowled out for 258 in the first innings.