Windies, SL share honours on rain-hit Day 1

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Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2010, 17:53 [IST]
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Windies,SL share honours on rain-hit day

The third and deciding Test between the touring West Indies and the hosts Sri Lanka got off to a delayed start due to rain. Beginning two hours late, the Windies won the toss and opted to bat. But Chris Gayle, who has been in good knick through the series, was out for a first-ball duck when Suranga Lakmal got him plumb in front, first ball.

Then one-down batsmen Darren Bravo steadied the tourists' nerves by powering a couple of fours in the 4th over. He and the surviving opener Devon Smith negotiated the Lankan bowling, which included the spinners - Ajantha Mendis and Tillakaratne Dilshan - well through the first hour and took their side into lunch at 45/1.

After lunch, the batting pair continued in the same vein with shades of aggressiveness from Bravo showing through. In the 19th over, he was especially severe on pacer Angelo Mathews, dispatching him for two boundaries, one to midwicket and one through the covers. But rain played spoiltsport yet again with a thick drizzle keeping the players off and the covers on, for over two hours in the afternoon.

After the pouring interlude, Bravo got right back into the swing of things, taking pace bowler Dilhara Fernando for two consecutive fours in the 26th over. With the second shot, Bravo moved to his fifty. Then Smith joined the fun, smacking Mendis for a four in the next over. Shortly after the Windies crossed the 100-run-mark, he notched up his own half-century in the 31st over.

In the following over, the umpire decision review system came into play when Sri Lanka referred a Fernando caught-behind appeal against Bravo. But with replays being inconclusive, the appeal was rejected and Bravo survived. But there was trouble at the other end in the next over when Mendis got Smith bowled for 55.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Bravo were just in process of building a little partnership when this time, bad light stopped play with severe overcast conditions looming over the venue. The players had to walk off the field with the score at 134/2 in 40 overs. That was the final score of the day with play being called off. The Lankans will probably feel that the Windies have a slight edge over them, but with two important wickets in the bag, it might be advantage Lanka.


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