Nissanka matches Edwards' heroics

It used to be Kensington Oval in Barbados, but Sabina Park has become the new bastion of West Indies cricket through the lean times of the past eight years.

They have won their last four Tests on the famous old ground in the heart of Kingston. But, after making the early running on the first day of the second and final Test when they dismissed Sri Lanka for 208, they were pulled back by inspired bowling on the second.

After an unconvincing opening partnership of 54 between the left-handers Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds, they lost their top six batsmen on either side of lunch.

Among them was captain Brian Lara, lbw on the backfoot to off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for 10, a rare failure at the hands of opponents against whom he had made two doubles and three single hundreds in seven Tests.

Three-quarters of an hour into the second session, the West Indies were 125 for 6, 83 runs in arrears. Although Muralitharan secured the key wicket, the fast bowlers were responsible for the Sri Lankan fightback on a pitch that became faster and bouncier under the influence of fierce sunshine.

The left-armer Chaminda Vaas and newcomer Thilan Thushara were never competently countered by Gayle and Hinds before the tall right-armer Prabath Nissanka, the third bowler introduced, removed both openers in successive overs.

Gayle was undone by a lifting delivery that deflected from the shoulder of the bat to gully after scoring 31. Then Hinds, a century-maker in the first Test, edged a booming drive to the wicketkeeper Romesh Kaluwitharana.

Lara fell an over before lunch, after which captain Hashan Tillakaratne returned to his fast bowlers. They did not let him down. Vaas bowled Ramnaresh Sarwan round his legs for 31 and Nissanka despatched Omari Banks and Marlon Samuels to low catches by Tillakaratne at first slip as West Indies struggled to keep in touch.

Their stimulus had initially come from their newest fast bowler, Fidel Edwards, a 21-year-old plucked from the obscurity of club cricket in Barbados on the insistence of captain Lara. His 5 for 36 on debut, featuring a spell of 4 for 8 to demolish the tail, was principally responsible for Sri Lanka's modest total.

Edwards had only played a solitary first-class match for Barbados a year and a half ago, but Lara found his skidding pace and swing a handful at practice and immediately pushed for his selection.

The half-brother of the left-armer Pedro Collins, who has played 19 Tests, Edwards was the eighth fast bowler used by West Indies in the six Tests of the season and the only one to make such an impact.

Slim and under six feet, he delivers with a slinging round-arm action that several retired players in the commentary and press boxes identified as a combination of Jeff Thomson and Waqar Younis.

It was a flattering comparison and, although his pace was consistently between 85 and 90mph, he is clearly raw. But he observed the basics of length and line and bothered all the Sri Lankans.

Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there