COLOMBO – West Indies slumped to 127 for 6 by stumps on a weather-curtailed first day against a President’s XI side at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo today.
Both seamers and spinners had substantial aid from the surface, and overcast conditions aided them further. Suranga Lakmal marked his return to competitive cricket after an injury layoff, with two wickets for 10 runs from his 11 disciplined overs. Suraj Randiv, however, was even more impressive, extracting very sharp turn to claim 3 for 33 from his 13 overs.
Kraigg Braithwaite was West Indies’ top scorer with 46 runs from 102 deliveries. He was characteristically patient in the early overs as Lakmal and left-handed pacer Vishwa Fernando achieved substantial movement off the seam, with the new ball. His opening partner Rajendra Chandrika had also been circumspect, until Lakmal tempted him into a pull shot, which the batsman mishit into the hands of midwicket. He was out for 18 from 49 deliveries.
Darren Bravo appeared the most fluent of the West Indian batsmen, as he took a particular liking to the left-arm spin of Sachith Pathirana. But he was less confident against Randiv, who turned the ball away from him. Bravo survived a close caught-behind shout in the 27th over, before he was given out in that fashion, later in the over. He had hit 21 from 36 balls.
That dismissal triggered a middle- order collapse for the visitors. Marlon Samuels nicked a short, seaming Lakmal delivery to the wicketkeeper, before Jermaine Blackwood lofted Randiv straight to mid-on soon after. Brathwaite was given out lbw off Fernando and Shane Dowrich was out to Randiv in the closing overs of the day. Shai Hope remained unbeaten on 24.
The entire first session and part of the second session were lost to rain and a wet outfield. Officials had set down a revised schedule of 59 overs for the day, but only 46 were possible before the light grew too dim to continue.