Ramesh Mendis
World Test Championship

Mendis magic helps Sri Lanka fight back

SL v WI, 2nd Test, day three report

Hit For Six!
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Ramesh Mendis' brilliant bowling figures of 6/70 helped Sri Lanka restrict West Indies to 253 before the hosts ended day three on 46/2, trailing by 3 runs.

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West Indies started the day looking to further chalk off the Sri Lankan lead and continue the excellent display which they had come up with on day two. Skipper Kraigg Brathwaite and Nkrumah Bonner started brilliantly in their effort to accomplish this task. Batting sensibly, it looked like the pair would take the visitors past the lead. Brathwaite brought up his half-century while Bonner was starting to look more and more settled at the crease. 

But Ramesh Mendis, as he has done so often in this series, proved to be the man with the golden arm. Bowling from around the wicket, he got one delivery to fizz off the pitch to trap Bonner lbw, bringing an end to his knock of 35. 

The wicket would spring Brathwaite into action as he unleashed a few cracking shots against the spinners before Lasith Emuldeniya came up with a peach of a delivery to end his stay at the crease. Beaten by the flight and trajectory, Brathwaite was bowled after an excellent knock of 72 on his birthday. The wicket would then open the floodgates. 

Mendis then dismissed Roston Chase with the new ball doing the trick. The delivery was on the short side but Chase ended up clipping it straight to leg gully with Nissanka taking a sharp catch. Mendis would then trap Shai Hope on 22 as West Indies found themselves in all sorts of trouble. 

Another lbw would follow soon for the willy off-spinner; this time the wicket of Holder for 4. The next delivery would yield the scalp of Joshua da Silva on a duck as Mendis celebrated another five-wicket haul while being on a hat-trick. 

West Indies would manage to build up a small lead of 31 runs but had a terrible session overall, as they threw away their advantage losing six wickets heading into tea. 

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It didn't take long for the Sri Lankans to wrap things up in the final session with Mendis capping things off with the wicket of Jomel Warrican for 1, ending with exceptional figures of 6/70. 

Sri Lanka had to then negotiate through a tricky phase in the final session with the lights fading and the West Indies bowlers ready to make a serious dent. They had to endure a major setback, as they lost skipper Karunaratne to a brilliant piece of fielding from Kyle Mayers. He picked the ball brilliantly and shot a rocket of a direct hit as the Lankan captain was left languishing short of his crease. He would be gone for 6. 

Pathum Nissanka and Oshada Fernando looked relatively comfortable at the crease and it seemed that they would get Lanka through to the rest of the day without any further hiccups. But a calamitous miscommunication led to another run-out. Fernando dabbed the ball straight to backward point and embarked on a run but Nissanka sent him back. It was too late as he fell short of the crease by quite a big margin to walk back to the pavilion for 14. 

There would be no further damage for the hosts as they ended the day on 46/2, trailing by 3 runs with Nissanka and Charith Asalanka at the crease. 

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Standings

Group A

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 England 3 +1.045 6
2 Bangladesh 3 +0.000 3
3 Australia 3 -0.992 2
4 New Zealand 3 -1.058 1

Group B

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 India 3 +1.370 4
2 Pakistan 3 -0.680 4
3 South Africa 3 +0.167 2
4 Sri Lanka 3 -0.798 2

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