Following a draw in the first match that ebbed and flowed, the two sides now move in the endgame for the series decider.
West Indies v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test
Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua
Monday, 29 March; 10am local time, 2pm GMT
The first Test was a close encounter, where both the teams had a brush with victory but neither could pull the result in their favour. The rollercoaster of a match was a premonition to how tightly knit the last match of the tour is expected to be.
West Indies and Sri Lanka would continue to back the young guns in the team who took their respective sides far away from the jaws of defeat. The wall of defense erected by Nkrumah Bonner and the river of perseverance gushed by Pathum Nissanka have given the two camps a fighting faith to push for a win in the second Test.
The hosts look settled with their bowling attack which is standing on the dependable shoulders of Jason Holder and Kemar Roach. Whereas, Sri Lanka would aim to better their bowling performance which could only manage four wickets in 100 overs on day five.
Remember the last time:
The first Test ebbed and flowed, with each passing day seeing a new flagbearer standing tall. On day one, Holder secured a five-for and gave West Indies an edge over Sri Lanka, by bowling them out for 169. The hosts, in reply, grappled with the loss of wickets at regular intervals with a 90-run eighth-wicket partnership between Joshua Da Silva (46) and Rahkeem Cornwall (61). Suranga Lakmal led the Sri Lankan bowling attack with his five-for. The hosts sat comfortably with a lead of 102 runs after the first innings.
Sri Lanka in their second innings exhibited grit and great resolve to return from the cusp of loss to becoming favourites for winning the first Test, as they posted a total of 476 in their second innings, with a massive lead of 374 runs thanks to the maiden century by debutant Nissanka (103) and half-centuries by Lahiru Thirimanne (76), Oshada Fernando (91), Dhananjaya de Silva (50) and Niroshan Dickwella (96).
West Indies fought back with a resolute response courtesy of Bonner who forced a draw with his resilient knock of 113* in 274 balls and a fifty from Kyle Mayers.
What they said:
Kraigg Braithwaite (West Indies Captain): "In the second innings we missed a few chances and that will happen. But I think we have to be disciplined in both innings to get 20 wickets. We'll go back to the drawing board and look at a few different plans where we could have done a few little things differently and come out with the same attitude. I was happy with the attitude as a unit and we just have to keep growing."
Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka Captain): "Now we know how the wicket is behaving. Especially after the ODI series, we didn't have any idea what the Dukes ball is doing in these conditions but now we know. Batsmen have runs under their names. Bowlers are doing really well. The second game is important and we need to give our best before we move on to the Bangladesh series."
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