Pushpakumara, Silva leave Windies A against ropes

FLORENCE HALL, Jamaica,  CMC – A batting meltdown on day two of the second four-day “Test” left West Indies A facing the possibility of a heavy defeat to Sri Lanka A here yesterday.

Replying to the visitors’ 294, West Indies A capitulated for a meagre 137 in their first innings, to concede a deficit of 157 runs.

All-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall top-scored with an attacking 46 while the in-form Sunil Ambris got 29 but the hosts were undermined by left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara who claimed six for 52.

He received support from off-spinner Shehan Jayasuriya with two for eight.

All-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall drives sweetly during his counter-attacking top-score of 46 against Sri Lanka A yesterday. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

In their second turn at the crease, Sri Lanka A were slumping at 38 for four before Roshen Silva struck a fine unbeaten 85 to bolster the innings, with help from Dasun Shanaka with 60 and Jayasuriya, 32.

Cornwall was the leading bowler, picking up three for 70 with his off-breaks.

Heading into today’s day three at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium, Sri Lanka hold an imposing lead of 370 runs with four wickets standing.

They owed their position to the experienced Pushpakumara who scythed through the hosts’ innings without hardly any resistance.

Resuming the day on 14 for two, Windies A slumped to 27 for five after losing nightwatchman Damion Jacobs (4) and left-hander Vishaul Singh for a one-ball ‘duck’ in the day’s sixth over from Pushpakumara, and then captain Shamarh Brooks for 11 – caught by Charith Asalanka at third slip off seamer Kasun Rajitha three overs later.

Ambris counter-attacked, striking five fours and a six in a 38-ball knock as he put on 29 for the sixth wicket with Jahmar Hamilton (8).

When both fell in the space of 19 balls with 14 runs added, it left Windies A struggling on 69 for seven but Cornwall again showed his worth, anchoring an eighth wicket partnership of 65 – the best of the innings – with Sheldon Cottrell who was unbeaten on 18 at the end.

The right-hander Cornwall struck five fours and a six off 45 balls before he was eighth out, bowled by Pushpakumara, in the fourth over after lunch.

His demise saw the last three wickets fall for three runs off nine deliveries.

However, Windies A struck back quickly as Cornwall, introduced early, grabbed two top order wickets and seamers Cottrell and Oshane Thomas both made key strikes to leave Sri Lanka A on the back foot on 57 for four at tea.

But Silva arrived to dash any hopes of a complete collapse, putting on 48 for the fifth wicket with Jayasuriya and a damaging 106 for the sixth wicket with first innings century-maker Shanaka, as Sri Lanka dominated the final session.

All told, Silva struck four fours and two sixes in an innings spanning 145 balls and a shade over three hours while Shanaka counted three fours and a six off 85 balls in an hour-and-a-half.

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