Sri Lanka Test fightback against Windies

·2-min read

Oshada Fernando has fallen agonisingly short of a Test century but his innings helped Sri Lanka take a 153 run lead over the West Indies in the first Test.

On a day of changing fortunes, Sri Lanka first wrapped up the West Indies first innings for 271 - a lead of 102 over its own first innings of 169.

Sri Lanka then reached stumps on day three at 4-255, with Fernando's 91 off 149 balls the mainstay.

Fernando and opener Lahiru Thirimanne put together a 162-run second-wicket partnership that wiped out the hosts' 102-run first-innings lead - with the West Indies dismissed for 271 in their first innings early on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka are in a healthy position even after the West Indies bowlers fought back with three quick wickets after tea to halt a dominant batting performance.

An inspired bowling change led to part-time medium pacer Kyle Mayers (2-10) grabbing two wickets while Kemar Roach (2-28) took the other as they put a temporary brake on the visitors' batting.

The West Indies used six bowlers in their bid to break the partnership but it was only when captain Kraigg Brathwaite turned to a seventh that they made the breakthrough.

Mayers produced a perfect outswinger with his first ball to lure Fernando forward and get a thick edge through to wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva for a first test wicket.

Mayers then removed veteran Dinesh Chandimal (4) in similar fashion and another inspired bowling change saw Roach return to bowl Thirimanne for 76 on a deteriorating wicket at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

Sri Lanka, however, wrestled back the initiative in the last hour of the day as Dhananjaya de Silva (46 not out) and debutant Pathum Nissanka (21 not out) put on an unbeaten 66-run stand.

"I think the wicket is a good one. It's flattened out nicely," Mayers said.

"Obviously they had the upper hand today but the game is still evenly poised.

"We're still in the game - 150-run lead. All we need is two early wickets tomorrow and then we're in with a chance."