(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – West Indies completed a crushing 226-run victory over Sri Lanka just after lunch on the final day of the first Test on Sunday as the tourists surrendered meekly following the demise of century-maker Kusal Mendis and captain Dinesh Chandimal.
Set a daunting target of 453, the Sri Lankans crashed from 189 for three in mid-morning to be dismissed for 226 just after lunch, suffering their first Test match defeat at the hands of the Caribbean side for ten years, when they were also beaten at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad.
Off-spinning all-rounder Roston Chase triggered the final capitulation in which five wickets fell for just eight runs.
His dismissal of Chandimal in the last over before the lunch interval broke the back of the tourists’ resistance and he claimed three of the remaining four wickets to fall to finish with the impressive figures of four for 15 off 8.2 overs.
It looked so much better for Sri Lanka when Mendis, 94 not out overnight with Sri Lanka on 176 for three, reached his fifth Test century shortly after the start of the day’s play.
However any hope of the visitors seriously challenging a world record target effectively evaporated with his dismissal, caught behind for 102 off fast bowler Shannon Gabriel.
Even the prospects of saving the match or at the very least taking the game into the final session disappeared with the loss of three more wickets before the break, including two off the final over bowled by Chase.