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Cornwall’s maiden Test 50 gives West Indies 99-run lead

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23 Mar 2021 08:05 #389546 by chairman
NORTH SOUND, Antigua, (CMC) – Towering all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall lashed his maiden Test half-century to headline a late order rally, as West Indies carved out a near hundred-run lead over Sri Lanka at the close of day two of the opening Test here yesterday.

Replying to Sri Lanka’s paltry first innings of 169, West Indies ended on 268 for eight – a 99-run advantage heading into the third day of the contest at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.
The home side appeared to be capitulating in the final session after veteran fast bowler Suranga Lakmal, who claimed five for 45, reduced the innings to 171 for seven.
However, Cornwall arrived to stroke an audacious unbeaten 60 off 79 deliveries, punching nine fours and two sixes en route to becoming the first Antiguan to notch a Test half-century at the venue.
Sri Lanka pacer Suranga Lakmal claimed five for 45.

More significantly, Cornwall posted an invaluable 90 for the eighth wicket with 22-year-old wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva who impressed again with his excellent temperament in scoring 46.
Rookie Kyle Mayers had earlier entertained with a characteristically bold 45 while opener John Campbell hit a patient 42 in contrast, and Nkrumah Bonner weighed in with 31.
“I felt good in the middle. I just told myself I needed to come out and bat for the team and give the team something, and I just backed myself,” Cornwall said afterwards.

“It’s just a good feeling to get a fifty. I know what I can do but I haven’t been showing that. Once I got out there and started building that confidence, there was no doubt I would get runs.”
.West Indies’ fortunes swayed back and forth from the start after they resumed on their overnight 13 without loss.
They lost captain Kraigg Brathwaite in the morning’s third over for three without a run added to the total, the right-hander losing concentration and stabbing at a wide ball from Lakmal for Dhananjaya de Silva to take a straightforward catch at second slip.

The start was a slow one, with the first run of the day coming in the fifth over as Campbell and Bonner cautiously went about building a 56-run second wicket stand, to see West Indies safely through the remainder of the hour.
Campbell faced 148 balls in 3-½ hours and counted four fours while Bonner hit five fours off 63 deliveries in 1-¾ hours.

Reprieved on 17 when he was caught at third slip off a Dushmantha Chameera (2-71) no ball, Bonner eventually fell lbw in the final over before lunch, missing a casual cross-batted stroke at an innocuous delivery from left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya.

On 72 for two at the interval, West Indies tried to rebuild through the extravagant Mayers and Campbell, the pair adding 26 before being separated.
The left-handed Campbell was eyeing a fifty when he pushed tentatively at one from Chameera which left him, and edged behind nearly half-hour after lunch.

Mayers played with familiar gay abandon, injecting some urgency into the Windies approach as he struck half-dozen fours and two sixes, to put on a further 25 for the fourth wicket with Jermaine Blackwood (2).
The left-hander’s intent was clear from his third scoring shot when he deposited Chameera over square leg for six before following up by hitting off-spinner Dhananjaya for a straight six a few overs later.

Mayers lost Blackwood in the penultimate over before the drinks break, bowled missing a drive at Lakmal off the first ball of a new spell, before he then succumbed half-hour before tea, edging an expansive drive at the same bowler to give Dhananjaya another catch at slip at 133 for five.
A 36-run, sixth wicket partnership between Da Silva and all-rounder Jason Holder (19) took West Indies to tea on 129 for five but Holder departed 21 minutes following the resumption, playing on to Lakmal.

When Alzarri Joseph fell without scoring 16 balls later with just two runs added, the Windies were tottering on 171 for seven, only two runs ahead.
But Da Silva, who faced 124 balls in a shade under three hours and struck five fours, joined forces with Cornwall to revive the innings.

Cornwall’s first scoring shot from the seventh ball he faced was a pulled four off Embuldeniya and he proceeded to clear the ropes at mid-wicket with left-arm pacer Vishwa Fernando and then again with Embuldeniya, en route to his fifty off 62 deliveries.
Da Silva perished in the fourth over before close, uncharacteristically attempting to upper cut Chameera but succeeding only in a feathering a catch behind.

SRI LANKA 1st innings 169
WEST INDIES 1st innings (o/r 13 without loss)
K. Brathwaite c Dhananjaya b Lakmal 3
J. Campbell c wkp. Dickwella b Chameera 42
N. Bonner lbw b Embuldeniya 31
K. Mayers c Dhananjaya b Lakmal 45
J. Blackwood b Lakmal 2
J. Holder b Lakmal 19
J. Da Silva c wkp. Dickwella b Chameera 46
A. Joseph c Chandimal b Lakmal 0
R. Cornwall not out 60
K. Roach not out 4
Extras: (lb-6, w-1, nb-9) 16
Total: (8 wkts, 101 overs) 268
Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-69, 3-95, 4-120, 5-133, 6-169, 7-171, 8-261.
Bowling: Lakmal 24-9-45-5 (nb-3), V Fernando 16-5-52-0, Chameera 22-1-71-2 (w-1, nb-2), Embuldeniya 28-6-64-1 (nb-4), Dhananjaya 11-2-30-0.
Position: West Indies lead by 99 runs with two wickets intact.

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24 Mar 2021 07:57 #389553 by chairman
Rakhs has worked hard and tirelessly to get where he is and has been the most consistently successful player since. His bowling is going to be supplemented by his batting soon enough, starting with his innings in this match! And his size does not prevent him from being a good fielder. Others in the team can take lessons from him!

Always tell someone how you feel because opportunities are lost in the blink of an eye but regret can last a lifetime.
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