Batting flop sends Windies A to crushing defeat

Middle order batsman Sunil Ambris … led West Indies A fight with a top score of 41. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

FLORENCE HALL, Jamaica, CMC – West Indies A failed with the bat for the second time in as many days, after left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara claimed a 12-wicket match haul to send them crashing to a heavy 280-run loss inside three days, in the second four-day “Test” here yesterday.

Asked to chase an improbable target of 425 at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium, the hosts tumbled to 144 all out in their second innings to follow up their meek first innings of 137 on Friday’s second day.

Only the in-form Sunil Ambris with 41 showed any resistance as Windies A failed to string together a single decent partnership to resist the resurgent Sri Lankans.

The right-hander was the only batsman to pass 20, single-handedly carrying the fight before he was ninth out after facing 76 balls in just under 2-1/4 hours at the crease and hitting four fours.

Pushpakumara finished with six for 46 to follow up his first innings haul of six for 52, and end with match figures of 12 for 98.

As he also did in the first innings, off-spinner Shehan Jayasuriya supported with two for 48.

Earlier, Sri Lanka A declared their innings on 267 for nine after resuming the day on 213 for six.

Roshen Silva, unbeaten overnight on 85, added just one but Wanindu Hasaranga pummeled an unbeaten 50 off 62 deliveries with six fours, to inflict more misery on Windies A.

Off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall added two wickets to his tally to finish with five for 107.

Left with around an hour to survive before lunch, West Indies A lost wickets steadily and were languishing on 39 for four at the interval.

Using the new ball, Pushpakumara knocked over opener John Campbell (1), captain Shamarh Brooks (7) and Vishaul Singh (9) to leave Windies A on 27 for three and Jahmar Hamilton perished for six on the stroke of lunch, as the Sri Lankans assumed full control of the encounter.

After the break, Ambris and opener Montcin Hodge (14) tried to resuscitate the innings in a 27-run fifth wicket partnership but seamer Kasun Rajitha cut short the revival by having Hodge caught at the wicket on the stroke of the first hour. Cornwall (2) and Damion Jacobs (0) perished in successive deliveries to Pushpakumara to send Windies A closer to defeat at 80 for seven but Ambris again held up the Sri Lankans’ charge in a 23-run, eighth wicket stand with Sheldon Cottrell (17).

When Pushpakumara disposed of Cottrell via the lbw route, Ambris managed to steer the hosts to tea on 119 for eight but his demise, lbw to the first ball after the resumption from Jayasuriya, ensured the end was not a protracted one.

The series is tied 1-1 following Windies A’s innings victory in the opening match at the same venue a week ago.

Historic Sabina Park in Kingston will host the third and final “Test”, a day/night affair, starting next Thursday.

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