St John's [Antigua], April 3 (ANI): As the two-match Test series against West Indies was shared on Friday, Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne said that his side needs to improve their batting and partnerships going forward.
A spirited batting display from Dimuth Karunaratne, Oshada Fernando and Lahiru Thirimanne on Day Five ensured that the second Test between Sri Lanka and West Indies ended in a draw here at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium. Consequently, the trophy was shared between the two teams as the first Test had also ended in a draw.
"I think if you talk about the surface then it is difficult to take wickets. There was a bit of help on the first two days but it got flatter and flatter as the Test progressed. Both teams played well and put in a lot of hard work. I think we played well especially the bowlers they did all the work on this surface. We need to improve our batting and need partnerships going forward, those are our concerns," said Karunratne at the post-match presentation.
"We lost our main spinner in the second innings and Dhananjaya did a good job. For me, the positives are Thirimanne's batting, Oshada too and Nissanka on how he handled the pressure. When you are playing Test cricket patience is the key and that is something to work on. They (West Indies) beat Bangladesh and have been dominating throughout the series and I wish them all the best," he added.
Brathwaite was adjudged the Player of the Match while Suranga Lakmal was named the Player of the Series.
Resuming the final day at 29/0 and still needing 348 runs for the win, overnight batters Thirimanne and Karunaratne decided to grind it out in the first session and the duo ensured that the visitors did not lose any wickets before the interval. At the lunch break, Sri Lanka's score read 93/0 with Karunaratne and Thirimanne batting on 54 and 37 respectively.
However, in the second session, Windies was able to get the breakthrough early as Alzarri Joseph dismissed Thirimanne (39). Oshada Fernando then stitched a 45-run partnership with Karunaratne. In the 56th over of the innings, Kyle Mayers got the better of Karunaratne (75), reducing Sri Lanka to 146/2. However, Fernando and Dinesh Chandimal then made sure that the hosts did not get a chance to go for a win. They scored 47 runs between them and ensured that the match ended in a draw with Sri Lanka reaching 193/2. Fernando and Chandimal remained unbeaten on 66 and 10 respectively. (ANI)