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Sri Lanka vs West Indies, 2nd Test: Sri Lanka starts solid against West Indies after rain


Sri Lanka‘s opening batsmen started strong against the West Indies after rain on Monday in the second Test in Galle stopped play until after tea. Match officials extended play after the hosts won the toss, but stopped after half an hour after just 34.4 overs with poor light. Pathum Nissanka outsmarted captain Dimuth Karunaratne to reach his third Test fifty with a boundary that drove Jason Holder straight to the ground. He was unbeaten on 61 in 109 deliveries with four fours and a six.

“There was a lot of turning on the track and it will get worse as we move on,” Dhananjaya de Silva, who batted at number five, told reporters.

“Anything above 300 will be a very good total on this track and Pathum will be the key for us,” he added.

Karunaratne was turned down for 42 when he offered a return catch for Roston Chase, failing to equal the world record for most consecutive Test half-centuries, but de Silva said the captain was immediate.

“Dimuth is a positive guy. Either the wicket turns or seam he does not care. He deals with a positive attitude and it also washes down to the team,” said de Silva.

The West Indies have exhausted two reviews and only challenged a decision after a leg-before-shout against Nissanka from Holder.

The tourists then argued for a backlog with Oshada Fernando not yet scoring points, but it was also unsuccessful.

The wicket is already assisting spin bowlers and the pitch is expected to deteriorate further as the game progresses.

Sri Lanka made one change on the side that won the first Test by 187 runs, by dropping fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera and strengthening their batting with Charith Asalanka, marking the former u.19 captain’s Test debut.

The West Indies brought in fast bowler Kemar Roach and spinner Veerasammy Permaul, replacing Shannon Gabriel and Rahkeem Cornwall.

Permaul is playing his first Test in six years and will complement left-hander Jomel Warrican.

“We felt that with Roston Chase bowling already, we would have been better off with two left-handers,” said West Indies bowling coach Roddy Estwick.

“Warrican looked good and Permaul is coming naturally after a dismissal and he will be fine tomorrow, I think,” he added.

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Roach, the eighth highest wicket-taker for the West Indies in Test cricket, was a surprising omission in the first Test.

Play will start 15 minutes early over the next four days to catch up on lost time.

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