Mendis fights but Windies chip away

Sat, Jun 9, '18


Windies vs SL
Kusal Mendis scored an unbeaten 94
Kusal Mendis scored an unbeaten 94 © AFP

 A fine knock from Kusal Mendis led Sri Lanka's reply after they were set a target of 453 on the penultimate day of the first Test in Port of Spain on Saturday (June 9). Starting their chase shortly into the post-lunch session, Mendis was involved in a couple of half-century stands and remained unbeaten on 94 at Stumps, although the visitors lost three wickets during the day and Dinesh Chandimal had retired ill. Sri Lanka ended Day 4 at 176 for 3, still needing 277 more to take a lead in the three-match series.

 Kusal Perera started by scoring two fours off Shannon Gabriel in the opening over of Sri Lanka's chase before falling to the same bowler off a leading edge. Unlike the first innings, Windies weren't able to run through the Sri Lankan top order as Chandimal and Mendis showed good application and were judicious with their shot selection. Capitalising on the loose deliveries and respecting the good ones, Chandimal and Mendis built a steady partnership to keep the Windies bowlers at bay. However, the partnership came to an abrupt halt as Chandimal appeared in some pain before the start of the 12th over, and was seen holding his head before walking off the field retiring ill.

 Mendis and Mathews went into a defensive mode for the rest of the second session, ensuring that Sri Lanka did not lose any more wickets. But they were a lot more positive in the final session, scoring a flurry of boundaries to take the fight back to Windies. Mathews came down the track twice to Devendra Bishoo to score a couple of fours and struck an authoritative pull off Gabriel through the mid-on region. Mendis, meanwhile, played a pick-up shot off Roach for a six before leaning into a cover drive for a boundary.