KINGSTON- Sri Lanka’s lower middle order yet again failed to take the responsibility of shoring a faltering innings up after dismissals of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. Both senior batsmen fell against the menacing spin of Sunil Narine, and was it not for a fighting half-century by Angelo Mathews, they could have finished with much less than the eventual score at Sabina Park.

Jayawardene, opening the innings for only the 27th time in his career, scored an effortless half-century after Sri Lanka were asked to bat, but the innings lost steam after Narine removed both Jayawardene and Sangakkara in quick succession and celebrated his homecoming with another two wickets towards the end of the innings.

The innings was, however, not about Jayawardene’s half-century, or Narine’s four, but it was about how Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne - the much-talked-about-but-yet-to-fire young brigade, coped with the situation. Mathews, after being dropped on 7, decided to curtail is natural strokemaking, but this was a chance for Chandimal and Thirimanne to serve a strong statement to their detractors. Instead, both allowed the pressure to build and then fell to soft dismissals, putting Sri Lanka’s innings on a crawl.

Only 15 runs came in the seven overs after the 28th and by the time Sri Lanka were forced to take their Powerplay, they weren’t left with any batting firepower to take advantage. Powerplay brought further damage - Ravi Rampaul picking up two more wickets after accounting for Thirimanne earlier - and Sri Lanka were forced to play for the overs rather than going for runs.

But that shouldn’t take away anything from the way West Indies came back into the match. Dwayne Bravo had elected to field hoping his fast bowlers would exploit the early moisture in the pitch, but Sri Lanka had made smooth progress 63.

Bravo provided the first strike, getting Tharanga to edge one to the keeper. There was no looking back once Narine, who now has 33 wickets from 14 matches at home, was introduced.

Scoreboard

SRI LANKA:

U Tharanga c Ramdin b DJ Bravo    25

M Jayawardene c Ramdin b Narine    52

K Sangakkara c Pollard b Narine    17

D Chandimal c DJ Bravo b Samuels    21

A Mathews not out    55

L Thirimanne c Charles b Rampaul    6

N Kulasekara c Pollard b Rampaul    2

J Mendis c Samuels b Narine    5

R Herath c Sammy b Rampaul    4

L Malinga lbw Narine    8

A Mendis c Charles b DJ Bravo    2

EXTRAS: (b5, lb2, w4)    11

TOTAL: (10 wickets, 48.3 overs)    208

FOW: 1-62, 2-85, 3-104, 4-140, 5-151, 6-159, 7-176, 8-190, 9-205, 10-208

BOWLING: Roach 7-1-41-0, Rampaul 10-0-38-3, Sammy 10-0-34-0, DJ Bravo 7.3-0-37-2, Narine 10-0-40-4, Samuels 4-1-11-1

WEST INDIES: DJ Bravo (capt), C Gayle, J Charles, DM Bravo, M Samuels, K Pollard, D Ramdin, D. Sammy, S Narine, R Rampaul, K Roach

TOSS: West Indies