Image courtesy of: Cricket West Indies
Sri Lanka faced a nervy chase on the fourth day of the third Test day in Barbados, but they managed to pull it off and beat the West Indies by four wickets.
Sri Lanka’s victory ended the series as a 1-1 draw as the West Indies won the first Test in Trinidad, while the second in St Lucia ended as a draw.
Starting off the day on 81/5 and still needing 63 runs to win, Sri Lanka failed to add any runs to their overnight score before Kusal Mendis was trapped lbw off the bowling of West Indies captain Jason Holder for 25.
Despite reviewing the decision, Mendis had to return to the pavilion as replays showed that the ball was pitching in line and going on to hit the stumps.
However, that was to be the West Indies’ last taste of success as Kusal Perera, who was cleared of any serious injury after landing on an advertising board while attempting to take a catch on the third day, and Dilruwan Perera amassed an unbeaten 63-run partnership.
Kusal ended up finishing on 28 off 43 balls, which included two boundaries, while Dilruwan remained undefeated on 23 off 68 deliveries, which included three boundaries.
Holder was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Kemar Roach claimed one.
Holder, who was named Man of the Match, was disappointed to lose the match, and said: “Not the end we were looking for. Credit to SL, we just did not have enough runs in the second innings. They fought back well last evening. It put our bowlers under pressure to come and do something special. We lost it with our batting in the second innings. Even though we gave them 140 to win, we knew could do it.
“But we missed some chances in the field. But it won’t put us down, have a quick turn around with the series coming up next week. There were a lot of positives: Gabriel was outstanding. I must commend him. Dowrich was outstanding as well. Roach needs to be mentioned too. A few good top-order partnerships would have helped.”
Sri Lanka stand-in captain Suranga Lakmal was delighted to end the series on a high, and said: “I feel so happy. It’s my first Test as captain. Very happy. I didn’t expect it. I thought it was a good opportunity to lead and I took it. I’m happy with my contributions but also the three fast bowlers all did very well, along with the spinner.”