Sarwan and Lara steer West Indies to series triumph

Sri Lanka 208 & 194 West Indies 191 & 212-3 West Indies win by 7 wickets and win series 1-0
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The Independent Online

An exhilarating partnership of 161 from 169 balls between the captain, Brian Lara, and his deputy, Ramnaresh Sarwan, powered the West Indies to a victory by seven wickets over Sri Lanka in the second and final Test yesterday that clinched the brief series 1-0.

Challenged to score 212, the highest total of the match, after the fast bowler Corey Collymore's 7 for 58 had restricted Sri Lanka to 194 in their second innings, the left-handed Lara and the right-handed Sarwan chose typically aggressive West Indian methods to achieve their goal.

Sarwan entered when the left-handed opener, Chris Gayle, fell before lunch for a duck to the left-arm swing bowler, Chaminda Vaas, for the fourth time in Tests. His innings of 82, from 110 balls with a six and 13 fours, ended in anti-climax when he was caught at cover off Vaas with the scores level.

Lara arrived at 57 for 2 with the match still in the balance following the dismissal of Gayle's partner, Wavell Hinds, bowled by the off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. He swept his first ball for the first of his nine fours and was unbeaten on 80 off 90 balls when he stroked the winning run. He was dropped at long-leg off a hook from Vaas when 61 but, by then, the result was all but settled. Tea, taken at 120 for 2, was the signal for an onslaught that brought 92 off 11.4 overs to the accompaniment of joyous celebrations in a 10,000 crowd here in Kingston, Jamaica.

Collymore, a 25-year-old fast bowler who has overcome a serious back injury and the doubts of selectors to return to Test cricket after an absence of four years, swept aside Sri Lanka's remaining five second-innings wickets before lunch. His 5 for 31 in the session brought his innings return to seven and nine for the match. He took five in Sri Lanka's first innings of the rain-ruined, drawn first Test and earned the man of the match and man of the series award.

He struck with his 10th ball of the morning after Sri Lanka resumed at 129 for 5, an overall lead of 146. He removed Sri Lanka's captain, Hashan Tillakaratne, leaving the remainder of the innings in the hands of the all-rounders and bowlers.

When Kumar Dhamasena and the left-handed Vaas were involved in a counter-attacking partnership of 35, Lara summoned Collymore for a second spell, and he rounded off the innings with the last four wickets.

Third day of five; West Indies won toss

SRI LANKA - First Innings 208 (K C Sangakkara 75; F H Edwards 5-36)

WEST INDIES - First Innings 191 (R A P Nissanka 5-64)

SRI LANKA - Second Innings (Overnight: 129 for 5)
H P Tillakaratne b Collymore 7
H D P Dharmasena c Lara b Collymore 20
W P U J C Vaas c Lara b Collymore 21
M T T Mirando c Lara b Collymore 13
M Muralitharan c Sarwan b Collymore 6
R A P Nissanka not out 0
Extras (b4 lb6 w2 nb7) 19
Total (54 overs) 194

Fall: 1-25, 2-43, 3-80, 4-118, 5-118, 6-138, 7-173, 8-176, 9-184.

Bowling: Edwards 15-2-54-1; Collymore 16-2-57-7; Drakes 11-3-29-0; Taylor 10-1-38-2; Banks 2-0-6-0.

WEST INDIES - Second Innings
C H Gayle lbw Vaas 0
W W Hinds b Muralitharan 29
R R Sarwan c Jayasuriya b Vaas 82
B C Lara not out 80
M N Samuels not out 0
Extras: (b7 lb4 w4 nb6) 21
Total (for 3, 42.4 overs) 212

Fall: 1-1, 2-50, 3-211.

Bowling: Vaas 11-2-54-2; Mirando 5-0-23-0;

Nissanka 8-1-64-0; Muralitharan 15.4-1-48-1.

Umpires: D B Hair and R B Tiffin.