Day 2 of 1st Sandals Test Match
Venue: Sir Vivian Richards Stadium
Toss: West Indies won toss and bowled
Rahkeem Cornwall made his highest Test score, sharing a record partnership with Joshua Da Silva, as West Indies secured a vital 99-run lead at the end of the second day, on Monday. The imposing all-rounder closed on 60 not out to push West Indies to 268-8 off 101 overs, in reply to Sri Lanka’s 169, made on the first day.
Cornwall has so far hit two sixes – both from savage pulls into the western side of the ground, as well as nine fours. He is the first time an Antiguan to score a half-century at this venue, he now has the highest score by a Number 9 batsman at the ground, and the highest score by a West Indies Number 9 against Sri Lanka.
He featured in a vital eighth-wicket stand with Da Silva, who made 46 in his first knock on Caribbean soil. It changed the course of the match hauled the West Indies around from relative trouble 171-7 to 261-8 and a healthy lead. Da Silva fell just before the close, caught behind as he tried to ramp a ball from Dushmantha Chameera down to third man.
Cornwall had been determined to make a statement with the bat. Before the match he told CWI Media: “tell the world I’ve come to make a score”. He reached his first Test half-century from just 62 balls.
“I told myself I had to do the job for the team. I was always confident I knew I was hitting the ball very well coming into the match so I just had to settle in and support Josh at the other end,” Cornwall said after the day’s play.
“I know I have good bating skills. Tomorrow the first hour will be crucial. They will come back fresh and will look to knock us over, so we have to be mindful of that and look to play well and gather as many runs as we can.
We negotiated the new ball well … it’s either take wickets or runs come so we played really well. When I reached my 50 it felt really good. My family and friends aren’t here to see me play but I know everyone is cheering me on at home and supporting the team.”
Earlier, a 56-run second wicket partnership between John Campbell (42) and Nkrumah Bonner (31) was the best effort by the West Indies top-order. However, Sri Lanka pacer Suranga Lakmal made inroads into the West Indies, with 5-45, his fourth five-wicket haul.
Lakmal dismissed captain Kraigg Brathwaite (3), then removed Kyle Mayers for an attacking 45 off 70 balls in an hour-and-a-half. The left-hander played some brilliant shots, including a hook over the midwicket fence as he struck six fours and two sixes.
Lakmal returned to bowl Jermaine Blackwood (2) and Jason Holder (19), leaving the West Indies 169-6. Alzarri Joseph was his fifth wicket, caught at point as he flashed a firm drive at an outswinger, before Cornwall and Da Silva came together in the final session.