Sri Lanka overcome Bonner-Da Silva resistance to take a 1-0 lead

On Day 5 of the first Test in Galle, Ramesh Mendis took his maiden five-wicket haul, while Lasith Embuldeniya took four wickets to enable Sri Lanka to overcome Nkrumah Bonner and Joshua Da Silva’s fight and win by 187 runs. After reducing the West Indies to 18/6 on Day 4, Bonner and Da Silva put on a century partnership for Sri Lanka. Despite facing close to 350 deliveries for the seventh wicket duo, Sri Lanka managed to win the second session on November 25.

West Indies were bowled out for 160 after being set 348 for an unlikely win in Sri Lanka, as their hunt for their first Test victory in the country continued. When Shannon Gabriel was the penultimate wicket, Embuldeniya fourth, Bonner was stranded on 68 off 220 deliveries. After Lunch, Rahkeem Cornwall, who had a 49-run stand with Bonner, was the first to fall when he attempted to loft a Praveen Jayawickrama delivery. Mendis picked up his fifth wicket a few overs later when Jomel Warrican dropped a ball to Oshada Fernando at silly point. When Gabriel was cornered by Embuldeniya, he couldn’t do much.

West Indies were 52/6 at the start of the day and fought hard for the majority of the first session as Da Silva and Bonner dug deep. Their tenacity lasted until shortly before lunch, when Da Silva edged out Embuldeniya for the first time, ending a stand worth exactly 100 points. Cornwall attempted to form a partnership with Bonner, but Sri Lanka won the second session quickly to take the series lead.

By electing to bat, Sri Lanka did themselves the greatest favor. Then their skipper Dimuth Karunaratne put the game away with a century, while Pathum Nissanka and Dhananjaya de Silva each struck fifty. A total of 386 looked imposing enough to put the opponents under duress, and West Indies didn’t put up much of a fight. Despite a few players enjoying first-inning starts, no one got a fifty as the West Indies were bowled out for 230.

In the second innings, Karunaratne got the ball rolling again, and this time Angelo Matthews came in as Lanka added some quick runs to set West Indies a target of 348, which they couldn’t accomplish despite Bonner and Da Silva’s valiant efforts. The second Test, which begins on November 29, pits Sri Lanka against the West Indies at the same site.