Pushpakumara takes 12 to help SL A level series

Left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara ripped through the West Indies A line-up, with six-fors in both innings, to seal a 280-run win for Sri Lanka A in the second unofficial Test in Jamaica. The win helped Sri Lanka A bounce back from an innings defeat in the first match to level the series, with the third match set to start from October 26.

Set a fourth-innings target of 425 on the third day, West Indies A were bowled out for 144 in 54 overs. Pushpakumara first prised out the top order, dismissing opener John Campbell, captain Shamarh Brooks and middle-order batsman Vishaul Singh for single-digit scores to leave them at 27 for 3, before returning to wipe out the lower order. That West Indies A scored 144 from a position of 80 for 7 was largely due to the lower-order partnerships led by Sunil Ambris(41).

West Indies A’s first innings had followed a similar route against Pushpakumara, with the frontline batting order quickly reduced to 69 for 7. On that occasion Rahkeem Cornwall’s 46 carried West Indies A past 100 before Sri Lanka A bowled them out to take a first-innings lead of 157. Pushpakumara had returns of 6 for 52 in the first innings, and followed it up with 6 for 46 in the second.

Sri Lanka A were not without a few batting stutters of their own, either. They had lost their openers by the 11th over of the first innings after electing to bat first, but Dhananjaya de Silva and Charith Asalanka added a steadying 92 for the third wicket. Once the partnership ended, however, there was another slump and Sri Lanka A were struggling at 137 for 5 before they were boosted by Dasun Shanaka’s unbeaten 102. Shanaka added 105 with Roshen Silva for the sixth wicket and then took the lead with the lower order to help Sri Lanka along to 294. His 102 came off 108 deliveries and was his fifth first-class ton.

Silva and Shanaka put together another crucial partnership in Sri Lanka’s second innings, adding 106 for the sixth wicket after the side had stumbled to 86 for 5. Silva made 86 off 159 deliveries, while Shanaka scored 60 off 85 deliveries, before an unbeaten 50 off 62 balls from Wanidu Hasaranga helped Sri Lanka put up 267 for 9 and stretch their overall lead to 424.

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