DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka (CMC):
Off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall made key strikes to limit Sri Lanka A after West Indies A’s batting collapsed, but the hosts held the edge heading into today’s final day of the third and final four-day Test here.
Sri Lanka ended day three of the contest at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium yesterday on 211 for five in their second innings – already 286 runs ahead.
Asela Gunaratne top-scored with 69, Sandun Weerakkody struck 48, while Roshen Silva was unbeaten on 29 at the close.
Cornwall, the mainstay of the visitors’ attack during the series, claimed four for 62 to take his tally of wickets for the three-match series to 20.
Earlier, West Indies A surrendered their last six wickets for 60 runs to be dismissed for 243 in their first innings and concede a lead of 75 runs.
Resuming on 183 for four, they lost their captain Shamarh Brooks for 54 after he had added just 11 runs to his overnight 43, while Cornwall chimed in with 25.
Seamer Kasun Madushanka (3-45) and left-arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan (3-54) both claimed three wickets apiece, while pacer Lahiru Gamage ended with two for 50.
West Indies A were set back early when Brooks perished in the day’s fifth over with the score on 199, after facing 100 deliveries and striking seven fours.
His demise triggered a slide from which the visitors never recovered as the last five wickets went down for the addition of just 32 runs.
The only batsman to show resistance was Cornwall, who punched two fours and a six in a busy 30-ball knock.
Batting a second time, Sri Lanka were handed a robust start by Weerakkody and Kusal Perera, who put on a brisk 67 off 62 deliveries.
Weerakkody faced just 36 balls and struck seven fours, while Perera hit a single four in 31 balls at the crease before he departed to a catch at the wicket off Cornwall.
In the bowler’s next over, with five runs added, Weerakkody followed via the leg before wicket, but top-scorer Gunaratne then led a recovery by anchoring two half-century partnerships.
The 30-year-old right-hander put on 58 for the third wicket with captain Lahiru Thirimanne, who made 27 off 76 deliveries before adding a further 51 for the fifth wicket with Silva.
Gunaratne faced 126 deliveries and struck ten boundaries before falling about 40 minutes before the close to a catch at the wicket off seamer Keon Joseph.