FLORENCE HALL, Jamaica, CMC – Dasun Shanaka stroked an aggressive, unbeaten hundred but fast bowler Keon Joseph led a focussed bowling effort to help restrict Sri Lanka A on the opening day of the second four-day “Test” here Thursday.
The 26-year-old carved out 102 batting at number seven, an innings that led the tourists to 294 all out after they chose to bat first at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium.
He smashed five fours and eight sixes off just 108 balls to lead a rally after Sri Lanka A struggled in the second session.
However, West Indies A then lost the momentum they had built, crashing to 14 for two at the close in reply, still 280 runs adrift of first innings lead heading into day two.
Openers Montcin Hodge (2) and John Campbell (5) fell in the space of six deliveries in successive overs, leaving captain Shamarh Brooks (three not out) and nightwatchman Damion Jacobs, yet to score, to see out the day.
Right-armer Joseph had earlier rattled Sri Lanka A claiming three for 32 while leg-spinner Damion Jacobs (2-74) and off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall (2-85) claimed two wickets apiece.
Joseph removed both openers Sandun Weerakkody (8) and Ron Chandragupta (9) cheaply as the visitors stumbled to 36 for two in the first session.
However, captain Dhananjaya De Silva stroked 73, vice-captain Charith Asalanka gathered 41 and Roshen Silva, 30, to add to Shanaka’s fifth first class hundred, and repair the innings.
De Silva, who hit a hundred in last week’s opening “Test”, again looked in good touch stroking six fours in an 89-ball knock that occupied 2-1/2 hours.
Crucially, he added 92 for the third wicket with Asalanka who faced 104 deliveries in 1-1/2 hours at the crease and counted five fours.
But Sri Lanka A again found redemption courtesy of a 105-run, sixth wicket stand between Shanaka and Silva, as they reached tea at 225 without further loss.
The right-handed Shanaka counter-attacked wonderfully, getting support from Silva who counted two fours in a 70-ball innings.
Once pacer Oshane Thomas had Silva caught at the wicket to give Jahmar Hamilton his fourth catch of the innings, Sri Lanka fell away again, losing their last five wickets for 52 runs