Sri Lanka need just four wickets to win the first Test against West Indies at Galle. West Indies had scored just 52 runs in poor light after the hosts’ spin trio worked fast at the top order.
The sensational collapse saw the tourists lose four wickets in 15 balls for just four runs.
Ramesh Mendis was one of the bowlers to take four wickets for 17 runs. The off-spinner had a hat-trick in the making as he trapped Kyle Meyers before leg.
Jason Holder was expecting the ball to go to him on the next ball but a straight path broke his off-stump.
Joshua da Silva entered to face the ball for a hat-trick, but it was directionless from Mendis, who threw it down the leg side.
Lasith Embuldeniya took the wickets of Jermaine Blackwood and Roston Chase.
There was little hope for West Indies to score 18 for six and all indications were that the game was about to end on the fourth day.
Nkrumah Bonner (18) and da Silva (15) then batted for just 45 minutes to stop before the umpires called bad lights.
West Indies’ lowest score against Sri Lanka was all out for 93 in Barbados in 2018.
Sri Lanka declared their second innings at 191 for four after Angelo Mathews and Dimuth Karunaratne shared a 123-run stand.
Captain Karunaratne, who had scored 147 in the first innings, missed two centuries after scoring 83 including nine fours.
He eventually stumbled after attempting to cut Rahkeem Cornwall, a top edge hitting the ball through the wicketkeeper’s glove at first slip.
Karunaratne has been performing brilliantly this year, scoring over 850 runs at an average of 77. He is the world’s third highest run-scorer in Test cricket for 2021 after England’s Joe Root and India’s Rohit Sharma.
West Indies were all out for 230 in the first innings as Sri Lankan spinners fell for nine wickets. Left-armer Praveen Jayavikrama was among the bowlers who had four wickets to his name.
The fourth day’s play was delayed by an hour due to rain. A total of 52 overs were lost on the third day due to rain.