Permaul’s five-for headlines brilliant day for visitors
Veerasammy Permaul starred with a brilliant five-wicket haul for the West Indies as they skittled out Sri Lanka for 204 and ended the day on 69/1 before rain curtailed play in Galle. West Indies opted for spin at both ends to begin proceedings, with the left-arm orthodox of Jomel Warrican matched with Roston Chase’s off-breaks.
Pathum Nissanka and Oshada Fernando continued where they left off yesterday in response, as runs flowed early, though their morning plans backfired with Fernando edging to ‘keeper Joshua da Silva for 18. Angelo Mathews joined Nissanka, though their aspirations of a solid partnership were quelled inside seven overs, thanks to a double strike from Veerasammy Permaul in just the second over of his spell. Trapping Nissanka in front for 73, Dhananjaya de Silva was punished for being in two minds, edging to the man with the gloves for just two.
The double-blow spelt danger for Sri Lanka, only compounded after Mathews hobbled off the ground after running a single. Spin continued to tangle Sri Lanka, with debutant Charith Asalanka (10) also undone by Permaul, whose questions continued to go unanswered.
Not to be outdone, Warrican was back in the act with two more of his own, dismissing Dinesh Chandimal (2) and Ramesh Mendis (5) in consecutive overs. Permaul would then snap up the next two wickets of Embuldeniya and Lakmal to bring up his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket. It wouldn’t take long for West Indies to wrap things up as Mathews (29) would be the last man to be dismissed.
It was spin again which did the damage as Warrican celebrated the scalp. West Indies then headed to lunch at 2/0. Openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood then batted sensibly in the second session, treating the deliveries on their merit. They also looked relatively comfortable against the Sri Lankan spinners, a massive improvement from their performance in the first Test. Blackwood was closing in on his halfcentury when Praveen Jayawickrama would deliver the first blow for the Lankans.
A delivery pitching on middle and leg would straighten enough to trap Blackwood, who then reviewed unsuccessfully to bring an end to his knock of 44. The heavens then opened up in Galle with West Indies at 69/1. Rain persisted for the remainder of the day, meaning no further play was possible. The visitors though would be happy with their showing in the day with a brilliant performance on the field followed by a steady outing with the bat as they trail the hosts by 135 runs.