The first match of this years World Test Championship was won by Sri Lanka and it was won in convincing fashion by a total of 187 runs. The foundations for Sri Lankan victory was set in the first innings by Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne, who for the second consecutive match would go onto score a century. His 147 off 300 balls was what won the match with a West Indian side struggling to get anywhere near the 386 that was posted in the Sri Lankan first innings.
Sri Lanka will be looking to wrap up the series with a win, they are favourites and can be backed at 1.67, West Indies to level things up are priced at 8.00.
Sri Lanka vs West Indies 2nd Test
Team News for Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka were able to put the disappointment of the T20 World Cup firmly behind them with an accomplished performance against the West Indies in the first test. As we have already alluded too it was a match that was won in the first innings. The 386 that Sri Lanka were able to post was always going to be a challenging total to reach, but it was made that much harder after Sri Lanka were able to reduce their opponents to 100/6.
On a spinning and turning track it was Praveen Jayawickrama and Ramesh Mendis who did the damage taking seven wickets between them and bowling the West Indies for 230.
With a 156 run lead heading into the second innings it was once again captain Dimuth Karunaratne who did the damage scoring another 83 runs off just 103 balls to help move Sri Lanka to 196-4. He then declared with a lead of 362.
Once again it was the spin bowlers who did the damage for the home side with Mendis taking another four wickets but it was left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya who did the job of finishing off the West Indies, finishing with a five-wicket haul – the third of his 11-Test career and helped restrict the West Indies to a measly 160, wrapping up the win and the first match of the series.
This second test match will hinge on the West Indies batsman to be able to handle the spinning conditions. The three Sri Lankan spin bowlers took 18 of the 20 wickets their team needed to win the test match. Mendis who finished with seven across the two innings can be backed at 1.83 to take over 5.5 match wickets.
Likely playing 11 of Sri Lanka
FDM Karunaratne, P Nissanka, BOP Fernando, DM de Silva, AD Mathews, LD Chandimal, RTM Wanigamuni, RAS Lakmal, PVD Chameera, L Ambuldeniya, PAKP Jayawickrama
Team news for West Indies
We questioned in the first preview of this test series what West Indian side would show up, and for the vast majority of the contest, the answer was a poor one. Many sides and great players have been bamboozled by the the spinning conditions at Galle, but for the West Indies their top order batsmen, simply didn’t have the answers with the majority of them failing to get into double figures. Kraigg Braithwaite who is opening the batting for his side offered some resistance with a gritty 41, but he was the only batsman in the top order who offered any sort of response.
After being reduced to 100/6, it was the West Indian bowlers who helped move the West Indies to a semi respectable score with Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers scoring 36 and 45 runs respectively. It was then Rahkeem Cornwall who hit 39 runs down at number 10 in the line up who took the West Indies to a total of 230. It was never going to be enough and so it proved to be.
With Sri Lanka declaring with a lead of 362 runs, once again the West Indies batsmen failed to fire, with the team being bowled out for 160. Once again it was the top order who failed with only Nkrumah Bonner offering up any sort of resistance, scoring a dogged 68 off 220 balls. It was then once again the bowlers who chipped in with some runs with Josh Da Silva scoring 54 runs.
It wasn’t good enough by the West Indian batsmen across the board and if they are to be successful in this second test they will need a much better batting performance.
Likely playing 11 of West Indies
Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Kyle Mayers, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Rahkeem Cornwall, Jason Holder, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Nkruma Bonner, Jomel Warrican
Pitch and Weather conditions
The weather in Galle looks to be mixed over the next five days and their is a chance that there could be some breaks in play, particularly towards the end of the test match.
Galle is a pitch that offers almost immediate turn and as the test match goes on, look for spin to take over. Both sides will choose a side that is packed with spin options and the majority of wickets that will fall will be because of spin.
Look for the side that wins the toss to bat first and make the most out of the better batting conditions. Batting last on a turning track could be very hard indeed as the first test proved.
Betting Predictions for Sri Lanka vs West Indies
Let's take a look at a few important betting predictions for Sri Lanka vs West Indies:
Match Result Prediction
As we predicted in the first test, playing in these conditions will be a real challenge for the West Indies and so it proved with their comprehensive defeat in the first test.
Sri Lanka’s spinners at this venue have proved problems for classier opposition and they had the West Indian batsmen tied up in knots and more of the same is coming in this second test match.
Sri Lanka have one of the worlds best test batsmen in captain Dimuth Karunaratne who has now scored consecutive centuries and top scored for his side in their second innings.
With both the bat and ball Sri Lanka look the superior side and we think their odds of 1.83 look really generous. The West Indies will need to display real patience that we think is beyond a lot of there players who like to go out there and play their shots. It’s not a shot making track and we think ultimately this is why they will fall short again and Sri Lanka will complete a 2-0 series victory.
Match Winner: Sri Lanka (1.83)
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Either team to win the toss can be backed at 1.91. Conditions are likely to get harder as the game goes on, so look for the side that wins the toss to bat first here as batting last on this spinning track will be very hard as the first test proved.
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Top Batsman for Sri Lanka
Is there really anywhere else you can look aside from Dimuth Karunaratne? Karunaratne has shown not just in Sri Lanka but all over the world that he is a batsman for all conditions and can live with the very best bowlers around. He has now scored consecutive centuries and almost reached that feat for the third time.
What impressed us was the way he scored his runs in the first test. His knock of 147 in the first innings was methodical and well thought through, it was the classical test match century. His second innings 86 was played at a much quicker tempo where Karunaratne showed off his full attacking arsenal and demonstrated what a good player he is. He seems to have all the answers to the West Indian bowlers and he has to be the option to be his sides top scorer.
Top Batsman for Sri Lanka in the first innings: Dimuth Karunaratne (3.75)
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