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Sri Lanka vs West Indies 2021-22

A review of Sri Lanka vs West Indies in 2021-22

Sa'adi Thawfeeq
Lasith Embuldeniya took 13 wickets at 18  •  AFP/Getty Images

Lasith Embuldeniya took 13 wickets at 18  •  AFP/Getty Images

Test matches (2): Sri Lanka 2 (24pts), West Indies 0 (0pts)
West Indies arrived in Sri Lanka hoping to end the year with a series win in a spinners' paradise, having begun it with a 2-0 victory in another - Bangladesh. But things did not go to plan: they lost both Tests by large margins, and Sri Lanka maintained their tight grip on the Sobers-Tissera Trophy.
That the home spinners accounted for 39 of West Indies' 40 wickets told a story. On Galle's turning pitches, Sri Lanka's batting was held together by three players. Captain Dimuth Karunaratne, who hit 270 runs at 69, was in prime form, despite six months' absence from international cricket; his 147 and 83 in the First Test laid the foundation for victory. Dhananjaya de Silva's unbeaten 155 helped win the Second, after Sri Lanka had conceded a first-innings lead of 49. Pathum Nissanka, meanwhile, continued his bright start to Test cricket with three half-centuries.
Among the bowlers, Ramesh Mendis Wanigamuni confirmed his early promise with 18 wickets at 15, and his off-spin proved the ideal foil to slow left-armer Lasith Embuldeniya, who took 13 at 18. Their success was backed up by another slow left-armer, Praveen Jayawickrama, with seven at 21. In all, Sri Lanka's spinners sent down 298 overs, to their seamers' 27.
West Indies' own left-arm spinners, Jomel Warrican and Veerasammy Permaul, each registered career-best figures, and Roston Chase claimed a five-for with his off-breaks, but 84 overs of seam bowling brought the visitors three wickets. Kraigg Brathwaite, the captain, blamed his batsmen's failure to post challenging totals: West Indies managed three half-centuries between them, and a highest total of just 253, with only Nkrumah Bonner standing tall.
For the first time since the start of the pandemic, spectators were admitted at Galle, though not to capacity. At the end of the series, Mickey Arthur completed his two-year contract as Sri Lanka coach, and it was announced he would take the reins at Derbyshire.