PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka, CMC – Off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall snatched a five-wicket haul and Test opener Rajendra Chandrika and wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton lashed their second half-centuries of the game, as West Indies A produced a telling performance to put Sri Lanka A on the ropes on the penultimate day of the second four-day “Test” here Thursday.
At the close, Sri Lanka A were struggling on 36 for two in pursuit of 481 for victory at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium – still requiring an improbable 445 runs on Friday’s final day to win the contest.
Earlier resuming on 128 for four, they were bundled out for 245 in their first innings as Cornwall ripped through the innings to finish with six for 91.
Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella top-scored with 88, captain Dimuth Karunaratne got 68 while Asela Gunaratne chipped in with a vital 46, but the hosts lost their last five wickets for just 25 runs in a swift collapse, about 25 minutes after lunch.
Yet again, Cornwall spearheaded the Windies attack, taking four of the last five wickets to collect his second five-wicket haul following on from his eight-wicket innings haul in the opening “Test” in Colombo.
With a healthy first innings lead of 264, West Indies A then raced to 216 for three declared, with Chandrika stroking 68 and Hamilton a whirlwind unbeaten 56 off just 30 deliveries.
Captain Shamarh Brooks also gathered an uptempo unbeaten 53 off 63 balls while Shimron Hetmyer chipped in with 28.
Left-hander Kieran Powell fell cheaply for two with the score on four in the fourth over of the innings but three successive half-century partnerships put the visitors in command.
The right-handed Chandrika put on 65 for the second wicket with Hetmyer who carved out five fours in a busy 37-ball knock before falling on the stroke of tea, lbw to leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay.
After the break, Chandrika added a further 67 for the third wicket with Brooks, as West Indies A controlled the final session.
All told, Chandrika struck five fours and a six off 110 deliveries while Brooks hammered three fours and two sixes in an enterprising knock.
When Chandrika was lbw to teenaged off-spinner Charith Asalanka, Brooks and Hamilton combined to plunder 80 off 51 balls in an unbroken fourth wicket stand which stunned the hosts.
Hamilton, who made 99 in the first innings, was the main aggressor, lashing five fours and four sixes.
Left with 11 overs to negotiate, Sri Lanka A slumped to seven for two with seamers Delorn Johnson and Kemar Roach removing both openers cheaply.
Avishka Fernando, on 18, and Roshen Silva, 11, then added 29 to prop up the innings.
WEST INDIES A 509 for nine decl. (Vishaul Singh 161, Jahmar Hamilton 99, Rajendra Chandrika 85, Shimron Hetmyer 48, Kemar Roach 39; Charith Asalanka 4-104) and 216 for three decl. (Rajendra Chandrika 68, Jahmar Hamilton 56 not out, Shamarh Brooks 53 not out)
SRI LANKA A 245 (Dimuth Karunaratne 68, Niroshan Dickwella 88, Asela Gunaratne 46; Rahkeem Cornwall 6-91, Keon Joseph 2-39) and 36 for two.
WEST INDIES 1st Innings 509 for nine decl.
SRI LANKA 1st Innings (overnight 128 for four)
*D Karunaratne c Brooks b Cornwall 68
Avishka Fernando lbw b Roach 7
L Thirimanne c wkp Hamilton b Joseph 3
R Silva c Brooks b Joseph 0
K Asalanka lbw b Cornwall 1
+N Dickwella c Singh b Cornwall 88
A Gunaratne c Hetmyer b Cornwall 46
Anuk Fernando c Hetmyer b Cornwall 7
J Vandersay b Cornwall 0
L Kumara not out 0
Asitha Fernando c wkp Hamilton b Johnson 6
Extras (b8, lb6, nb5) 19
TOTAL (all out, 72.5 overs) 245
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-32, 3-36, 4-37, 5-134, 6-225, 7-235, 8-235, 9-238, 10-245.
Bowling: Roach 13-5-31-1, Johnson 10.5-3-31-1, Cornwall 30-5-91-6, Joseph 11-1-39-2 (nb5), Motie-Kanhai 8-0-39-0.
WEST INDIES 2nd Innings
R Chandrika lbw b Asalanka 68
K Powell c Asalanka b Kumara 2
S Hetmyer lbw b Vandersay 28
*S Brooks not out 53
+J Hamilton not out 56
Extras (b7, lb1, w1) 9
TOTAL (3 wkts decl, 41 overs) 216
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-69, 3-136.
Bowling: Asitha Fernando 4-0-18-0, Kumara 7-1-39-1, Asalanka 15-0-63-1 (w1), Gunaratne 4-0-8-0, Vandersay 11-1-80-1.
SRI LANKA A 2nd innings (target: 481 runs)
*D Karunaratne lbw b Johnson 3
L Thirimanne c Chandrika b Roach 4
Avishka Fernando not out 18
R Silva not out 11
TOTAL (2 wkts, 11 overs) 36
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-7.
Bowling: Roach 4-1-13-1, Johnson 3-1-4-1, Cornwall 3-0-14-0, Motie-Kanhai 1-0-5-0.
Position: Sri Lanka A require a further 445 runs to win.
Toss: Sri Lanka A.
Umpires: N de Silva, R Kottahachchi.