Sri Lanka delays start of play vs WIndies after ball dispute

GROS ISLET, St. Lucia (AP) Resuming the second test under protest, Sri Lanka strongly denied it tampered with the ball on a third day in which it finished trailing the West Indies by 13 runs on Saturday.

Sri Lanka was charged with altering the condition of the ball by umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould, who reviewed video of the West Indies first innings on Friday. They penalized the team before play on Saturday with a change of ball and the award of five runs to the West Indies.

Sri Lanka protested by refusing to leave its dressing room for nearly an hour and a half. Then the team went out to the middle and walked back to the boundary, where arguing with officials didn’t relent for another 40 minutes.

Sri Lanka Cricket advised the team to play ”under protest,” that team management said no players ”engaged in any wrongdoing,” and it would take all steps to defend any player charged with ”any unwarranted allegation.”

The West Indies resumed on day three on 118-2, which was bumped up to 123-2 by the penalty runs. But the home side was all out in a rush after tea for 300, a lead of 47 on the first innings.

Sri Lanka was 34-1 at stumps in its second innings, trailing by 13.

For West Indies, only opener Devon Smith and wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich posted scores of substance, 61 and 55 respectively.

The Sri Lankans contained the home side with excellent bowling, trapping Smith and tricking Dowrich.

Suranga Lakmal was rewarded with 2-50, and fellow medium-pacer Kasun Rajitha 3-49. But fast bowler Lahiru Kumara took the most wickets, four.

In its second innings, Sri Lanka lost Kusal Perera to a thick edge behind off Shannon Gabriel two overs before stumps. Perera made 20.

Mahela Udawatte, on test debut, was left on 11, and nightwatchman Rajitha was yet to score.