West Indies A v Sri Lanka A, 1st match, 3rd day November 27, 2006

Smith and Sammy give Windies A the advantage

Mark Pouchet


West Indies A ended day three of their first four day match against Sri Lanka A on 178 for 3 in their second innings, a lead of 193 built on Devon Smith's well-paced century. This was after Sri Lanka A had been limited to 252 in their first innings on the strength of Daren Sammy's 5 for 50.

West Indies' efforts with bat and ball continued their resurgence started by Sammy on day two. Sammy adopted the attitude of 'don't fix it if it ain't broke.' And his consistently good line and length broke the back of the Sri Lankan response and gave his team-mate Smith the opportunity to build a solid foundation for the second innings.

Resuming on 184 for 4, captain Tilan Samaraweera and Gayan Wijekoon grafted a 62-run partnership against testing bowling from Andrew Richardson and Sammy. But after scratching around for an additional 26 runs, Sammy's inspired spell and Richardson's solid support made the breakthrough that ensured that Sri Lanka would not surpass their first-innings total.

Wijekoon (35) became Sammy's third victim when he sent his off stump cartwheeling towards wicketkeeper Patrick Browne with the score on 210. Richardson got Samaraweera (47) to narrowly edge one through to Browne with the total unchanged.

Two runs later, Kaushal Silva was trapped lbw by Sammy. Two wickets in three overs broke Sri Lanka's resistance and that helped Richardson, Sammy and Ravi Rampaul polish off the Sri Lankan effort. West Indies' confidence was up and it showed in their batting.

Even though Sewnarine Chattergoon departed after giving a catch to wicketkeeper Silva, Smith and Hinds batted competently for a 72-run partnership during which Smith brought up his half century with a lofted six over the long-on boundary.

Smith's innings was a mixture of well-considered shots, swift running between the wickets and good shot selection and placement that frustrated the Sri Lankan bowlers no end.

And when Hinds was bowled by a delivery that kept low from left-arm spinner Weerakoon, Sylvester Joseph picked up where Hinds had left off with some positive shot making and running. Smith's much-deserved ton that spanned 211 minutes and 157 balls included nine fours and one six. The only disappointment would have been Joseph's dismissal to Weerakoon on the final ball of the day.