Fernando, Thirimanne lead Sri Lankan fightback against West Indies

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Oshada Fernando and Lahiru Thirimanne led a strong Sri Lankan fightback on day three of the first Test against West Indies in Antigua on Tuesday.

After relinquishing a first innings lead of 102, the tourists closed on 255-4, an overall lead of 153 with two days remaining.

Batting a second time, Sri Lanka lost Dimuth Karunaratne for three, before Fernando and Thirimanne added 162 for the second wicket to give their side the ascendancy.

Lahiru Thirimanne of Sri Lanka hits a four as John Campbell and Joshua de Silva of West Indies watch during day three of the first Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka at Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, on March 23, 2021. (Photo by Randy Brooks/AFP)

Kyle Mayers picked up Fernando for 91 of 149 balls (11x4s) and Dinesh Chandimal (4) in quick succession, before Kemar Roach bowled Thirimanne for 76 off 201 balls (4x4s) as West Indies made inroads into the middle-order.

However, Dananjaya DeSilva (46*) and debutant Pathum Nissanka (21*) batted to the close with an unbroken partnership of 66 to strengthen Sri Lanka’s lead. Bowling for West Indies, Mayers has 2-10 and Roach 2-28.

Earlier, West Indies added just three runs to their overnight 268-8, with Rahkeem Cornwall adding just one to his overnight 60 and Shannon Gabriel falling without scoring.

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