Sri Lankan spinners seal Test series against Windies
Left-arm spinners Rangana Herath and Milinda Siriwardana shared seven wickets as Sri Lanka thumped the West Indies by 72 runs in the second Test on Sunday to sweep the series 2-0.
The tourists, who resumed on 20-1 chasing a victory target of 244, were shot out for 171 in the post-lunch session of the fifth day’s play at the P Sara Oval here.
“We fell short. We didn’t bat well in the second innings,” West Indies skipper Jason Holder said.
“Whenever we came under pressure from the Sri Lankan bowlers we succumbed. But there is a lot we can take away from the series. We are a young team and we have a lot to learn.”
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said he never doubted his bowlers’ ability to clinch a victory.
“It was a hard-fought win,” Mathews said. “The pressure was on our bowlers because our batsmen did not deliver. I never had any doubts about my bowlers even when the West Indies were 80 for 1.
“Rangana (Herath) has enough experience and he showed his masterclass again.”
Veteran Herath finished with four for 56 and Siriwardana took three for 25 to wreck the tourists, for whom Darren Bravo played a lone hand with 61. The West Indies slipped to 138 for nine before the last-wicket pair of Kemar Roach (13) and Jomel Warrican (20 not out) put on 33 runs to hand a batting lesson to their teammates.
Sri Lanka, who had won the first Test in Galle by an innings and six runs, clinched the trophy named after West Indies great Garfield Sobers and former Sri Lankan captain Michael Tissera. Herath finished with 15 wickets in the series to take his tally to 293, nearing the 300-wicket mark previously achieved by only two Sri Lankan bowlers — world record holder Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas.
When play resumed after the entire fourth day had been washed out, the overnight pair of Bravo and Shai Hope easily negotiated the Sri Lankan bowlers to carry the score to 80-1. Siriwardana broke the 60-run stand by having Hope stumped for 35 soon after Bravo had celebrated his half-century with two sixes off Herath.
Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera removed Marlon Samuels for six through a catch by Angelo Mathews, before Siriwardana trapped Jermaine Blackwood leg-before for four.
Herath sealed the West Indies’ fate soon after lunch by removing former captain Denesh Ramdin (10) and Bravo in the same over, both falling to catches by Mathews.
Skipper Jason Holder was leg-before to Siriwardana for 7 and Jerome Taylor holed out in the deep off Herath for one.
The two teams will next meet in three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 games.