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SL vs WI | 1st Test: Embulduniya takes Lanka to victory after great resistance by Bonner and Da Silva

Lasith Embuldiya was able to break the resistance of the Windies lower order as he slid past the tail after breaking through two crucial partnerships involving  Nkrumah Bonner, who eventually remained unbeaten on 68 off 20 balls. 

West Indies started positively from their overnight score of 52-6 and both Bonner and his partners at the other end, Joshua Da Silva played some beautiful shots indeed 66 runs to their existing 34 run partnership to complete a 100 run partnership for the seventh wicket, taking West Indies from 18-6 to 118. 

However, Lasith Embulduniya broke through just ahead of the Lunch and git Da Silva out for 54 off 129 balls. Bonner then tried to stick together yet another partnership with Rahkeem Cornwall. The two added 31 runs for the eighth wicket but most importantly played out 14 overs and were threatening to take the game to a draw especially with the clouds around the stadium darkening with each passing ball. 

But even under threat of rain and the dogged approach by Cornwall and Bonner, the left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama, who hadn’t picked nay wicket in the fourth innings till then, got Cornwall caught by Suranga Lakmal and thus broke the partnership. Post that, Embulduniya picked the last two wickets of Jomel Warrican and Shanon Gabriel to get West Indies all out for 160. 

Courtesy of the last two wickets Embulduniya completed his fourth five-wicket haul in Test cricket. The 25-year-old also equalled Ajanatha Mendis’ record for the second-fastest 50 wickets in test cricket for a Sri Lankan bowler as he reached the milestone in this Test, only his 12th of the career. Dilruwan Perera is the fastest Sri Lankan to reach 50 wickets as he reached the milestone in 11 Tests. 

The second Test between the two nations will begin on November 29 at the same venue. Sri Lanka would look to do a clean sweep and strengthen their position in the World Test Championship 2021-23.

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SL vs WI | 1st Test: Fifties from Da Silva, Bonner, overcast conditions keep Windies in the game

When West Indies finished the fourth day on a score of 52-6 with Sri Lanka needing only four wickets on the last day at Galle to win the first Test of the two-match series between the two teams, nobody would have given the Caribbeans any chance to survive even the first hour. However, surprising all the cricket pundits, not only did Nkrumah Bonner and Joshua Da Silva, the unbeaten pair from the fourth day survive the first hour, but even went on to add 66 more runs to their 34 run partnership from the previous day and thus add 100 runs for the sixth wicket. Da Silva did get out just before lunch, but not before completing a fighting fifty. Most importantly, he played 129 balls to score his 54 runs. However, Sri Lanka’s thought that they might now induce false shots from the upcoming tail were dashed as Rahkeem Cornwall joined with Bonner and the pairing have so far added 20 runs and most importantly have kept Sri Lankan spinners wicketless for 11 overs. Bonner also completed his fifty, his third in Test cricket courtesy of this partnership. At the time of writing this piece, Bonner was batting on 55 off 190 balls, while Cornwall remained unbeaten on 7 off 35 balls. Apart from some dogged batting approach from the West Indian batters, Sri Lanka would also have to keep an eye on the skies as they are filled with grey clouds threatening to burst at any time and ruin the home side’s chances of a victory. As of now, 47 overs are still to be bowled and West Indies are 140-7.


IND vs NZ | 1st Test, Day 1: Shubman Gill hits fifty, but Kyle Jamieson keeps Blackcaps in game

New Zealand have made their way back on the first day of the ongoing first Test against India in Kanpur with big wickets of Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara in quick succession. Kyle Jamieson was the pick of the Kiwi’s bowler and picked up both the opener Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill to deny India the chance to get away with the game. He first tested Agarwal outside his off stump continuously before finally getting the edge of his bat to the wicketkeeper Tom Blundell. After his fall, Gill played some crips drives and lofted shots off the left-arm spin bowling of Ajaz Patel and reached his third fifty in the longest format. He and Cheteshwar Pujara took India to lunch without any further damage. He looked all set for a big score and was batting fluently before Jamieson came back right after the lunch interval to sneak through his defence. Gill’s departure brought the under-pressure duo of Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, who is leading the side in absence of Virat Kohli together at the crease. Both batted with some control as New Zealand spinners offered them loose deliveries to capitalise on. However, Kane Williamson quickly switched back to his pacers and introduced Tim Southee from one end and he produced the much-needed wicket of Pujara to take his 350th wicket in the format and left India in some sort of trouble. The debutant Shreyas Iyer and Rahane have the task of leading the hosts to a good total in the first innings. Notably, they are without Rishabh Pant and they don’t have any specialist batsman left behind them in the playing XI.