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18-Jun-2018 02:59:00 GMT
WI v SL, 2nd Test, St Lucia, day 4

Gabriel gets six but Mendis, Dickwella turn the tide

Sri Lanka 253 (Chandimal 119*, Gabriel 5-59, Roach 4-49) and 334 for 8 (Mendis 87, Dickwella 82, Gabriel 6-57) lead West Indies 300 (Smith 61, Dowrich 55, Kumara 4-86, Rajitha 3-49) by 287 runs

St Lucia: Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella put Sri Lanka in control of the second Test in St Lucia after the Windies, inspired by the pace and aggression of Shannon Gabriel, had threatened to blow the visitors away. However, all three results still remain possible heading into the final day.

Resuming their second innings on 34/1, Sri Lanka lost three more wickets before passing the 50-mark on the morning of day four as Gabriel – who became the first West Indian to take a 10-wicket match haul against Sri Lanka – made early inroads.

Kasun Rajitha, acting as nightwatchman, was first to go, trapped lbw by a full delivery from Gabriel before the Trinidadian quick induced a poor stroke from Dhananjaya de Silva who edged a wide delivery to Devon Smith at first slip.

If Chandimal was feeling the pressure, he didn't show it, batting judiciously for his 112-ball 39 while Mendis played more expansively on his way to 87 from 117 deliveries; an innings which included eight fours, two sixes and some scintillating pull strokes.

Roach finally broke the partnership on 117 when Chandimal under-edged the ball through to keeper Shane Dowrich and was given out on review.

The pair carried Sri Lanka from a position of vulnerability to one of strength, with Dickwella scoring at a speed which changed the complexion of the contest. He hit seven boundaries in his enterprising knock, becoming the first Sri Lankan keeper to score a Test half-century in the Caribbean.

It was impossible to keep Gabriel out of the contest though, the burly speedster getting a stroke of luck when Silva tickled one down the leg side and Dowrich took a one-handed stunner before Dickwella scooped the same bowler to Kieran Powell at cover to give him 11 wickets for the match.

Akila Dananjaya and Suranga Lakmal batted sensibly through to stumps, the latter surviving an lbw review against Gabriel, leaving Sri Lanka 334/8 – a lead of 287 -- and eyeing a victory charge tomorrow.

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