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West Indies vs Sri Lanka: Confident hosts can shut the door in 2nd Test
The Windies produced a strong showing that can be a catalyst for series win
West Indies' Shane Dowrich scored 125 in the 1st Test against Sri Lanka in Port of Spain. (Randy Brooks/AFP/Getty Images)
West Indies vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test Preview & Betting Tips
West Indies host Sri Lanka in the 2nd of the three-match Test series at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St. Lucia. The hosts took a 1-0 lead with an authoritative 226-run win in the first match, which adds a new dimension to their game ahead of this Test.
Not many would have given the hosts a chance in the first Test, and they surprised everyone with an exceptional win. Shane Dowrich scored 125* in the first innings and together with vital contributions from the tail lifted the Windies to 414/8 declared.
In the second innings it was Kieran Powell, who held them together with a knock of 88 to set a 453-run target that proved beyond Lanka’s reach. Another admiring aspect for the hosts is the fact that the bowling load has been equally shared.
The pacers shared eight wickets in the first innings while the spinners bagged seven wickets in the second to lead them to the victory line. Captain Jason Holder impressed with his all-round ability, contributing 79 runs and took two wickets.
The visitors started the 1st Test brightly leaving West Indies struggling at 147/5 in the first innings, but that was where their hold ended. The lack of application put them in a deep spot in the first innings and when they crumbled to 185, it was near-fatal.
Conceding a lead of 229-run lead was calamitous, but the Lankans responded well by restricting the Windies in the second essay to 223/7. That was a commendable effort, but the target of 453 was always well beyond what they could achieve.
Kusal Mendis waged a lone battle in the chase with 102, while no other batsman made a significant contribution. Lahiru Kumara impressed with the ball taking seven wickets in the Test, but other bowlers struggled.
The only time these sides played here was in 2003 when the match was interrupted by rain to end in a draw.
West Indies will feel that they turned a corner in the first innings of the first Test. The Windies now look a completely different bunch of players.
Sri Lanka have a lot of issues with the senior players guilty of inconsistency. Now with Angelo Mathews ruled out of the series, there are more worries in the visiting camp.
West Indies are unbeaten in 4 of 5 Tests played here, winning 1 and drawing 3.
The last time West Indies won 2 Tests in a row was in September 2014.
West Indies won 4 of 7 Tests played at home against Sri Lanka, losing only 1.
Confidence is an important factor in cricket, especially when little separates two teams. This is their best chance for the Windies to dispel all doubts and they look well placed to achieve that.
With different batsmen striking form at various points of the 1st Test, there are high chances that one of them from either side would go on to make it big in the first innings here.
Best Bet: West Indies Win or Draw Double Chance @ 1.53
A Hundred to be Scored in the 1st Innings: Yes @ 1.72