Sri Lanka took two West Indies wickets in the afternoon session before rain brought play to an early end on the second day of the third and final Test at Pallakele yesterday.
The tourists lost Shivnarine Chanderpaul for 54 and Dwayne Bravo without scoring to reach 244-5 before play was halted prior to the scheduled tea interval with Brendan Nash unbeaten on 62 and Carlton Baugh on nought.
Sri Lanka made a vital breakthrough soon after lunch by ending a 99-run fourth wicket stand between Chanderpaul and Nash.
Ajantha Mendis removed the defiant Chanderpaul when Mahela Jayawardene pulled off a brilliant diving catch at slip, centimeters off the ground.
Seven balls later left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who was brought into the attack rather late in the innings, made up for lost time by taking the wicket of Bravo.
Wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene brought off a smart stumping when Bravo charged forward, but missed the sharp-turning ball.
The wicket of Darren Bravo was all hosts Sri Lanka had to show for their morning’s work as the West Indies reached 229-3 at lunch.
The West Indies, resuming on 134-2, went into lunch with fourth-wicket pair Chanderpaul and Nash putting together an unbroken stand of 87 off 173 balls.
Nash reached his half-century before the break off 74 balls, with five fours helping him to 55. Left-hander Chanderpaul played the anchor role, batting throughout the session to 46.
Chanderpaul survived a suicidal reverse sweep shot off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath at 38.
The umpire ruled him out LBW, but he successfully challenged the decision, the replay showing the ball clearly hit his gloves.
There was no such luck for Darren Bravo, however, who added only five runs to his overnight score of 63 before Dilhara Fernando trapped him LBW in the fourth over of the day.
Bravo asked for a referral, but the ball was shown to have thudded into his pads, hitting him between leg and middle.
The three-match series is tied at 0-0 after the first two Tests were drawn.
INDIA VS NEW ZEALAND
AFP, JAIPUR, India
India’s stand-in captain Gautam Gambhir cracked an unbeaten 138 off 116 balls to lift the hosts to an eight-wicket win over New Zealand in the second one-day international on Wednesday.
The left-hander’s eighth one-day century enabled India to surpass New Zealand’s challenging 258-8 with seven overs to spare in the day-night match at the Sawai Man Singh stadium in Jaipur.
The emphatic victory gave India a 2-0 lead in the five-match series after the hosts had won the first game in Guwahati on Sunday by 40 runs.
Gambhir put on 87 for the first wicket with Murali Vijay (33) and 116 for the second with Virat Kohli, who followed up his century in Guwahati with a fluent 64. The skipper hit 18 boundaries in his fluent knock.
Gambhir led India as regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was rested for the series along with other senior players including Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh.
“Getting a century as captain was special, but winning the game was even more special,” the 29-year-old Gambhir said. “I think 258 was a decent total, but Vijay and Virat batted very well. Hopefully, we can carry the same form into the next game and win the series.”
Fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth set up the win by grabbing four wickets after Gambhir won the toss and elected to field in good batting conditions.