Dowrich ton, fiery pacers give West Indies the advantage

Thu, Jun 7, '18


Windies vs SL

For 325 balls, Shane Dowrich resisted. It wasn't pretty work. Most of it was defence, seeing out the swinging new ball in the morning, then deadbatting the turning deliveries from the spinners in the afternooon. But for West Indies, Dowrich's fight, and the 70-plus partnerships he forged with Devendra Bishoo and Kemar Roach were invaluable. From 145 for 5, the hosts dragged themselves to 414 for 8 - a score Jason Holder felt comfortable enough to declare on. Then their quicks brought the fire. In the 10 overs they had at Sri Lanka before stumps, they had the batsmen jiving and jerking - Shannon Gabriel consistently breaching the 140kph mark. They were rewarded with three wickets, and consequently, a firm grip on this match.
Sri Lanka, remember, are playing with only six specialist batsmen. Dinesh Chandimal survived the 31 balls he faced before stumps. He had Roshen Silva for company at the end of the day. If Sri Lanka are to get close to West Indies' score in this innings, these two batsmen, along with Niroshan Dickwella who is to come next, will have to produce substantial scores.
But it was to Dowrich that the day belonged. Having resumed on 46 in a rain-curtailed first session, he reached his half-century with a boundary off the third ball of the day, but then continued batting with caution, as he had late on day one. Largely, he waited for the shorter balls to venture his more aggressive strokes, the majority of his runs coming on the legside. Meanwhile, at the other end, Bishoo scored a few early runs off the outside edge, and eventually settled into a rhythm himself.