By Azad Ali
West Indies took the first Test against Sri Lanka in the three-match series by a convincing 226 runs just before lunch on the final day (Sunday) at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Batting first West Indies posted 414 for eight with diminutive Barbadian wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich scoring 125 not out to put West Indies on top after they were reeling at 147 for five on the opening day.
Dowrich and spin bowler Devendra Bishoo (night watchman) put together a partnership of 102 runs.
Captain Jason Holder joined after Bishoo was out and with Dowrich and the pair took the score to 319 for six with Holder contributing 40.
Dowrich struck six fours and two sixes to place the host in a commanding position on the second day.
Fast bowler Kemar Roach contributed with 39 and when he was out, Holder declared the innings at 414 for eight.
It was a disastrous start for Sri Lanka when they took the crease with three batsmen back in the pavilion with only 30 runs on the board.
The visitors struggled to cope with the bounce and pace of the wicket and were bowled out for 185.
Captain Holder did not enforce the follow-on but his team was tottering on 131 for four wickets. He declared on 223 for seven, setting Sri Lanka 453 to win.
Sri Lanka closed the penultimate day on 76 for three, still trailing by 276 runs.
Opener Kusal Mendis struck 102 and with Angelo Mathews they put on 74 runs for the second wicket.
Mendis, who faced 186 balls struck nine fours and two sixes but was eventually out when he edged a ball from Shannon Gabriel to Dowrich behind the stumps.
The West Indies spinners combined grabbed seven wickets in the second inning, with off-spinner Roston Chase snatching four for 15 in 8.2 overs and leg-spinner Bishoo taking 3 for 48 in 19 overs.
West Indies victory was witnessed by a poor crowd of about 600 fans at the Oval
Man-of-the-Match was Shane Dowrich for his 125 not out in the first innings.