Nissanka ton helps Sri Lanka set stiff target for Windies
West Indies were 34-1 at the close after losing John Campbell for 11 with an uphill task facing them on a wearing pitch on the final day
Pathum Nissanka scored a century on debut as Sri Lanka amassed a commanding lead on the fourth day before setting the West Indies a target of 375 to win the first Test in Antigua.
The 22-year-old Nissanka and wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella spent most of Wednesday at the crease in a 179-run partnership before Sri Lanka were bowled out for 476.
In reply, the West Indies were 34-1 at the close after losing John Campbell for 11 with an uphill task facing them on a wearing pitch on the final day.
Captain Kraigg Brathwaite (eight not out) and Nkrumah Bonner (15 not out) will resume on Thursday.
Nissanka belied his lack of experience with a patient innings while Dickwella fell four runs short of a maiden test ton as Sri Lanka fought back after a 102-run first-innings deficit to take charge of the Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
The West Indies did get the day off to a perfect start as Alzarri Joseph castled Dhananjaya de Silva with the fifth ball of the morning, but not before De Silva had gone to his half century with a boundary.
It proved but a brief moment of celebration for the hosts, however, as the visitors dug in with Nissanka reaching his century, off 240 balls, just before tea.
The Windies had to wait for more than 50 overs for their next wicket as Nissanka holed out for 103 and Dickwella followed seven overs later, bowled by Kemar Roach agonisingly close to his milestone.
Sri Lanka’s last three wickets fell for six runs to the relief of an exhausted home team, who spent almost two full days in the field.
If the West Indies are to reach the target, it would be their third-highest successful chase after scoring 395-7 against Bangladesh in Chattogram last month and the 418 runs they amassed to beat Australia in 2003.
Sri Lanka 1st Innings - 169
West Indies 1st Innings - 271
Sri Lanka 2nd Innings (overnight 255-4)
L. Thirimanne b Roach 76
D. Karunaratne c Campbell b Roach 3
O. Fernando c da Silva b Mayers 91
D. Chandimal c da Silva b Mayers 4
D. de Silva b Joseph 50
P. Nissanka c Roach b Cornwall 103
N. Dickwella b Roach 96
S. Lakmal run out 8
D. Chameera c Mayers b Cornwall 6
L. Embuldeniya c Holder b Cornwall 10
V. Fernando not out 0
Extras (b13, lb5, nb11) 29
Total (149.5 overs, all out) 476
Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Karunaratne), 2-170 (Fernando), 3-178 (Chandimal), 4-189 (Thirimanne), 5-259 (de Silva), 6-438 (Nissanka), 7-460 (Dickwella), 8-462 (Lakmal), 9-476 (Embuldeniya), 10-476 (Chameera)
Bowling: K. Roach 27-3-74-3 (6nb), S. Gabriel 18-2-67-0, J. Holder 22-4-40-0 (2nb), A. Joseph 21-2-83-1, R. Cornwall 42.5-4-137-3, K. Brathwaite 9-1-30-0, K. Mayers 9-2-24-2 (3nb), J. Blackwood 1-0-3-0
West Indies 2nd Innings (target 375)
K. Brathwaite not out 8
J. Campbell c Dickwella b Fernando 11
N. Bonner not out 15
Total (20 overs, 1 wkt) 34
To bat: K. Mayers, J. Blackwood, J. Holder, J. da Silva, A. Joseph, R. Cornwall, K. Roach, S. Gabriel
Fall of wicket: 1-12 (Campbell)
Bowling: S. Lakmal 7-4-4-0, V. Fernando 6-0-21-1, L. Embuldeniya 4-2-5-0, D. Chameera 2-1-4-0, D. de Silva 1-1-0-0
Toss: West Indies
Umpires: Joel Wilson, Gregory Brathwaite (WIS)
Match Referee: Richie Richardson (WIS)
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