COLOMBO (Reuters) – West Indies made a bright start in their chase of 244 against Sri Lanka on the fifth day but their hopes of a series-levelling win in the second and final test dimmed after losing three quick wickets to the spinners.
The touring side, who lost the first test in Galle by an innings and six runs, reached 112-4 at lunch, still needing 132 for their first win in the format in Sri Lanka.
Batting mainstay Darren Bravo (55) and wicketkeeper batsman Denesh Ramdin (four) were at the crease at the break.
West Indies resumed on 20-1 after rain washed away the final session on the third day and the entire fourth day’s play and looked in firm control of their chase.
Shai Hope, who was unbeaten during the weather disruption, and Bravo started positively, taking the attack to the spinners, and added 60 for the second wicket.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews turned to all-rounder Milinda Siriwardana to break the stand and the left-arm spinner did exactly that by dismissing Hope in his fifth delivery.
Hope danced down the wicket to the bowler but the ball spun enough to beat his bat and resulted in an easy stumping for wicketkeeper Kusal Perera.
Out-of-form Marlon Samuels (six) survived several nervous moments before falling to Dilruwan Perera with Mathews completing a sharp catch at slip.
Siriwardana had his second wicket when Jermaine Blackwood (four) was out leg before with West Indies slumping from 80-1 to 102-4 quickly.
Blackwood challenged the umpire’s decision but failed to overturn the decision.
Left-hander Bravo handled the spinners well with some positive footwork and completed his 13th fifty in tests with three fours and two sixes.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by xx)