Barbados: Shane Dowrich led yet another West Indies rearguard with an unbeaten half-century as the West Indies rallied from 53 for five to reach stumps at 132 without further loss on a rain-hit opening day of the third and final Test match.
Almost half of the scheduled overs were lost to intermittent showers as day/night Test cricket came to the Caribbean for the first time, three years after the first such fixture was played between Australia and neighbours New Zealand in Adelaide.
Having already played a vital role in the series with an unbeaten 125 that rescued the West Indies in the first innings of the series in Trinidad two weeks earlier, the wicketkeeper-batsman’s rich vein of form continued on his home ground Saturday at the Kensington Oval.
His assured innings of 60 not out was well supported by Jason Holder, the West Indies captain contributing 33 not out in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 79 and going some way towards justifying his decision to bat first on a green pitch, notwithstanding the struggles faced by the home side’s top order against a Sri Lankan attack spearheaded by stand-in skipper Suranga Lakmal.
Appointed to lead the tourists with regular captain Dinesh Chandimal suspended for the match after being found guilty of ball tampering during the second Test in St Lucia, Lakmal swiftly dispensed with openers Devon Smith and Kraigg Brathwaite on a grassy pitch.
Lahiru Kumara, Sri Lanka’s top bowler of the series, then removed Kieran Powell cheaply as well to have the home side reeling at eight for three.
A one-hour break for rain offered some respite to the home batsmen but when play resumed Kasun Rajitha followed up on an encouraging debut in the second Test by dismissing Roston Chase immediately upon coming into the attack.
When Rajitha accounted for Hope at the start of the second session, West Indian prospects of a decent first innings total looked grim, especially with the trend over the previous nine day/night Test matches in other parts of the world for bowlers to hold sway with the pink ball during the twilight period.