Skipper happy as bowlers keep Windies on top after three days

Galle, Sri Lanka – West Indies bowlers stuck to their guns and made inroads against Sri Lanka as the third day of the 1st ERI Test match was hit by heavy rain. Only 30.5 overs were possible Wednesday. The players left the field for bad light just after lunch and then showers came to bring an end to the day.

In the time played Sri Lanka moved from 54-1 to 165-3 as the Windies bowlers took two vital wickets. Sri Lanka need to reach 381 to avoid the follow-on after the Windies made 580-9 declared, with a record-breaking topscore of 333 coming from Chris Gayle.

Early in the day opener Tharanga Paranavitana had his stumps uprooted by Kemar Roach – from a deliver which swerved in. Shortly before the lunch break, Kumar Sangakkara was “castled” as Dwayne Bravo produced a brilliant yorker which shattered the stumps.

Speaking after the day’s action, captain Darren Sammy said he was pleased with the team’s showing so far in the match.

“We have done some very good things so far in this match. The batsmen did a great job when we batted on the first two days and now the bowlers have maintained the pressure on the Sri Lankan batsmen. The plan was to get at least two wickets in the first session today and to pull the scoring rate down. Our bowlers were very good and showed discipline and we managed to do that. We showed that our attack is capable of applying pressure and getting wickets. It looked good to see our bowlers posing problems to the Sri Lankans on a flat pitch in their own backyard."

Sammy also praised Gayle and the other top-order batsman for posting a massive score after the Windies won the toss and batted first on Monday.

“It was great to watch Chris Gayle play his monumental knock. Before we left home he said he was going to give his all for the team. Scoring 333, and the manner in which he batted, showed that he is a man who fully committed to what he is doing and it has put us in a very strong position. He had the team goal in mind and always stuck to the game plan. The other batsmen played really well to build a solid foundation and as a team we are pleased.”

Play on Thursday will start at 9.45 am (12.15 am Eastern Caribbean Time/11.15 pm Wednesday Jamaica Time).