Samaraweera Century Leaves West Indies 253 To Win
Sri Lanka 278 (Silva 76, Dilshan 62) & 268 (Samaraweera 125) v
294 (Sarwan 57, Muralitharan 5-79) in Trinidad
Sri Lanka lead the two-match series 1-0
By John Pennington
A rearguard innings of 125 from Thilan Samaraweera helped Sri Lanka recover from the loss of six early wickets to post 268 in their second innings on day three of the second Test in Trinidad, meaning the West Indies require 253 to win and level the series when play resumes tomorrow.
West Indies gained a first innings lead of 16 before a timely century partnership between Thilan Samaraweera and Chaminda Vaas helped them steady the ship and build a lead of their own.
Samaraweera scored an excellent century as he dug in to help Sri Lanka bounce back from being reduced to 78 for five and 99 for six, combining to add 138 with Vaas who scored 45.
The West Indies were bowled out for 294 in reply to Sri Lanka's 278, with Denesh Ramdin and Jerome Taylor scoring 13, Daren Powell three and Fidel Edwards unbeaten on one as the Sri Lankans made short work of the end of their innings in the morning session.
Muttiah Muralitharan picked up five for 79, his 63rd five-wicket haul in Tests while Vaas took the other wicket to fall.
Wickets continued to fall after the sides came out for Sri Lanka's second innings. Sri Lanka were in disarray at four for two after Malinda Warnapura was caught by Sewnarine Chattergoon off of Jerome Taylor for two and Michael Vandort was run out by Taylor without scoring.
Kumar Sangakkara (14) and Mahela Jayawardene (12) nudged the tourists into an overall lead before they departed along with Tillakaratne Dilshan (25) and Chamara Silva (13) leaving last recognised batsman Samaraweera at the crease along with Vaas with the tas of setting the West Indians a testing victory target.
Sangakkara was caught by Marlon Samuels off of Powell, Jayawardene was bowled by Edwards while Dilshan befell the same fate off of Taylor. Silva was Taylor's third wicket, caught by Samuels.
Samaraweera brought up both his half-century and the half-century partnership shortly before tea with a single in the cover region. After tea, the pair continued where they had left off, taking Sri Lanka's score past 200 and their partnership past a century.
The partnership was eventually broken when Vaas was caught by Denesh Ramdin as he tried to cut a Chris Gayle delivery, but by then Samaraweera had registered his sixth Test century and Sri Lanka were on their way towards giving their bowlers a chance in the final innings.
Thilan Thushara (ten) failed to follow the example set by his senior bowler Vaas, as he stuck around for just twenty balls before edging Dwayne Bravo to Ramdin for a simple catch. Samaraweera's 199-ball innings came to an end soon afterwards as he was run out looking for a second run to third man.
He had hit 18 fours in his innings and four balls later the innings was closed as Muralitharan attempted a pull off of Jerome Taylor but only succeeded in looping the ball in the air to Powell at fine leg who made no mistake.
Taylor finished with figures of four for 52 and with play ending with the fall of Muralitharan, West Indies will have two full days to chase 253 to win.
Sri Lanka comfortably won the first Test by 121 runs in Guyana.
ï¿½ Cricket World 2008