Second Test marred by ball-change controversy

January 19, 2020

first_imgGROS ISLET, St Lucia (CMC): A late strike by speedster Shannon Gabriel gave West Indies control of the second Test against Sri Lanka, but a ball-change controversy marred proceedings, headlining the third day and threatening to disrupt the series here yesterday. Leading by 47 runs after racking up 300 in their first innings at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground, West Indies reduced the visitors to 34 for one in their second innings at the close, leaving them still in deficit by 13 runs. Gabriel, inspired by his five-wicket haul in the first innings, found the edge of left-hander Kusal Perera’s bat in the penultimate over of the day for wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich to gobble up an easy catch. Devon Smith had earlier struck 61 while Dowrich extended his good form in the series with a sixth Test half-century of 55 as West Indies tried to rally from their overnight 118 for two, following Friday’s rain-hit second day. Roston Chase chimed in with 41, but the Windies declined badly after reaching 241 for four, losing their last six wickets for just 59 runs. Impressive seamer Lahiru Kumara was the leading bowler with four for 86 while debutant pacer Kasun Rajitha claimed three for 49 and fellow speedster Suranga Lakmal, two for 50. For all the action on the field, however, controversy dominated the narrative as Sri Lanka refused to take the field at the start of the day after umpires, concerned over the altered condition of the ball from the previous day, changed the ball and awarded West Indies five penalty runs. That decision did not bode well with the Sri Lanka players and management, who protested the decision, and players remained off the field for nearly the first hour. Players finally took the field at 10:50 a.m., but the Sri Lanka fielders subsequently left the field in protest, remaining just beyond the boundary in discussions with team management, while match officials also huddled in conference. Action finally got under way half-hour before the scheduled lunch interval after Sri Lanka Cricket authorities instructed the team to take the field but “under protest”.last_img

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