Shannon Gabriel Kusal Mendis Niroshan Dickwella Dinesh Chandimal West Indies Sri Lanka 2018
Shannon Gabriel (6 for 57) bowls Kusal Mendis (87) © AFP

Sri Lanka battled gutsily amidst the ball-tampering controversy in the second Test against West Indies, at Darren Sammy International Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, riding on excellent displays of counterattack from Kusal Mendis (87 in 117 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes) and Niroshan Dickwella (62 in 70 balls, 7 fours). With the last day to go, they lead West Indies by 287 with 2 wickets in hand, and given the way the fast bowlers have bowled (Shannon Gabriel has already taken 11 for 116 in the Test), they definitely have a chance to level the series.

Sri Lanka were 34 for 1 overnight, trailing by 47. Day Four started with Gabriel trapping Kasun Rajitha with a straight, full-pitched delivery. Dhananjaya de Silva slashed and edged. And debutant Mahela Udawatte, deceived by Kemar Roach’s slower delivery, lobbed one to cover. At this stage Sri Lanka were 48 for 4, a solitary run ahead.

Captain Dinesh Chandimal, already charged under Law 9.2.2 of ICC Code of Conduct for ball-tampering, joined Mendis. Mendis was particularly harsh on anything pitched on leg, including two beautifully timed sixes off Roach. Chandimal hung on grimly for his 39, before falling to an under-edge that needed to be reviewed. The pair added 117.

Mendis, looking solid till tea, fell shortly after play resumed. He chopped one on to the stumps off Gabriel. West Indies might have whiffed a chance at this stage (Sri Lanka were 152 ahead), but Dickwella played a blinder to take Sri Lanka to near-safety. He added 99 with Roshen Silva, who batted solidly for his 48.

Gabriel got his fifth wicket when Shane Dowrich flung himself to his left to take a spectacular catch to send Silva back, and his sixth when Dickwella, trying to make room, merely holed out. He has bowled brilliantly throughout the Test, bowling with sustained pace.

Akila Dananjaya and Suranga Lakmal are at the crease at stumps. Sri Lanka, 0-1 down in the series, may declare overnight and go for the kill.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 253 (Dinesh Chandimal 119*; Kemar Roach 4 for 49, Shannon Gabriel 5 for 59) and 334 for 8 (Kusal Mendis 87, Niroshan Dickwella 62; Shannon Gabriel 6 for 57) lead West Indies 300 (Devon Smith 61, Shane Dowrich 55; Kasun Rajitha 3 for 49, Lahiru Kumara 4 for 86) by 287 runs.