New ball dulls Sri Lankan edge

Sri Lanka 273-8 v West Indies
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For the second time in two days, the weather spoiled the sport when it was at its most intriguing in the second Test here yesterday. The Kandy men said the rain at the tail end of the monsoon season would not get any more cooperative, unless the orange-robed monks watching from the adjoining Asgiriya Buddhist monastery are particularly persuasive in their prayers.

Realistically, the locals were prepared for a disrupted draw, with 87 overs already lost and Sri Lanka's first innings still not complete at 273 for 8 at lunch, after which no play was possible. The two hours available, the first third in pleasant sunshine, produced 34 overs.

The Sri Lankans added 80 to their overnight 193 for 5, losing three wickets to the second new ball after Hashan Tillakaratne and Thilsan Samaraweera batted through the first hour and a half to carry their sixth-wicket partnership to 80.

Boosted by the return of Merv Dillon, the West Indies made a breakthrough claiming the new ball. Collins, left-arm over, accounted for the left-handers Tillakaratne, for 87 to an inside-edged pull back into his leg stump, and Chaminda Vaas, to a slip catch during a spell of four consecutive maidens. Dillon took care of Samaraweera for 29 with the perfect leg-cutter that found the edge into the wicketkeeper's gloves.

Second day; Sri Lanka won toss

SRI LANKA – First Innings

(Overnight: 193 for 5)

ÝH P Tillakaratne b Collins 87

T T Samaraweera c Jacobs b Dillon 29

W P U J C Vaas c Hooper b Collins 0

M R C N Bandaratilleke not out 9

D N T Zoysa not out 15

Extras (lb6 nb4 pens 0) 10

Total (for 8, 93 overs) 273

Fall (cont): 6-249 7-249 8-249.

To bat: M Muralitharan.

Bowling (to date): Dillon 18.2-4-51-2; Collins 26-7-73-3; Stuart 0.1-0-2-0; Gayle 0.3-0-4-0; Hooper 21-6-44-0; Ramnarine 24-6-75-3; Samuels 3-0-18-0.

WEST INDIES: D Ganga, C H Gayle, R R Sarwan, B C Lara, *C L Hooper, M N Samuels, ÝR D Jacobs, P T Collins, M Dillon, D Ramnarine, C E L Stuart.

Umpires: J H Hampshire and M G Silva.