Braithwaite defies Sri Lanka bowling in second Test

·2-min read
Kraigg Braithwaite made his Test debut in 2011

Kraigg Brathwaite has been at his most obdurate in compiling an unbeaten 61 with the West Indies struggling to cope with the wiles of Suranga Lakmal and the rest of the Sri Lankan bowling attack in reaching 171 for five at tea on the opening day of the second and final Test against Sri Lanka at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Monday.

Brathwaite's gritty defiance over four hours at the crease has contrasted sharply with the attacking play of Kyle Mayers, who counter-attacked in the morning session but fell in the first over after lunch to Vishwa Fernando for 49.

Lakmal had claimed the early honours for Sri Lanka with two early wickets and added the scalp of the struggling Jermaine Blackwood in the afternoon session to have figures of three for 53 at the interval.

Dhananjaya de Silva then dismissed Jason Holder for 30 just before tea, the former captain taken at slip driving at the first delivery from the spinner to terminate a 51-run fifth wicket partnership with his skipper.

Fresh from career-best Test innings figures of five for 47 a week earlier at the same venue, Lakmal wasted no time in justifying the decision by his captain, Dimuth Karunaratne, to put the West Indies in when he removed John Campbell and Nkrumah Bonner in quick succession.

Campbell fell to a straightforward catch by wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella while Bonner, who held out against the visitors for seven hours in compiling an unbeaten century to ensure a draw in the first Test, fell without scoring, playing on to the cunning fast-medium bowler.

Mayers responded in his usual attacking style, dominating a third-wicket partnership of 71 with Brathwaite.

His penchant for attack brought him eight boundaries off 58 deliveries but he continued to live dangerously, edging through or just short of the slip cordon as the Sri Lankan pacers continued to offer the left-hander the opportunity to exercise his expansive off-drives in the hope of eventually offering a catch to the waiting fielders.

His luck ran out in the third ball after lunch with Dickwella coming up with the catch behind the stumps.

Both teams are unchanged from the first Test where the tourists rallied from a 102-run first innings deficit to seize the initiative, only for the home side to bat through the final day to comfortably ensure the stalemate.

Sri Lanka are seeking a first-ever Test series triumph in the Caribbean while the West Indies are keen to follow up their series success in Bangladesh in February with a home triumph ahead of a lengthy international break to accommodate the Indian Premier League.

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