Lankans thrash Windies

Associated Press

Kandy, July 25:

Muttiah Muralitharan snared eight wickets on Monday to propel Sri Lanka to 240-run win over a beleaguered West Indies in the second cricket Test and a 2-0 series sweep. Set an improbable 378 runs to win on a crumbling fourth-day pitch, the West Indies were bundled out for 137 as their batsmen struggled against offspinner Muralitharan, who returned 8-46 in 16.2 overs. It was the 46th time Muralitharan has collected five wickets or more in a Test innings. Earlier Kumar Sangakkara scored an unbeaten 157 — his eighth Test hundred — off 284 balls to boost Sri Lanka’s second innings to 375 for seven before the hosts declared. In a seesawing match, Sri Lanka was sent into bat on the opening day and was skittled for 150 in its first innings before paceman Chaminda Vaas led the fightback by taking 6-22 to restrict the West Indies to 148 in reply.

Lasith Malinga opened the bowling for Sri Lanka on Monday in the absence of Vaas, who was struggling with a hamstring injury, and struck immediately, trapping Xavier Marshall (1) lbw with the total at two. Muralitharan began his spell shortly after lunch and soon trapped Runako Morton (9) lbw to make the total 38 for two. He struck successive blows with the total at 49, dismissing opener Ryan Ramdass (23) and Sylvester Joseph (0) caught by Mahela Jayawardene at silly mid-off. West Indies’ skipper Shivnarine Chanderpaul failed to make any impression as he was caught pad-bat by Jayawardene off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath. Narsingh Deonarine top-scored for the West Indies with 29 runs. Earlier in the rain-interrupted fourth day, New Zealand umpire Tony Hill banned West Indian fast bowler Tino Best for the rest of the innings for bowling two beamers. Hill had warned Best for bowling a full delivery over waist height against Sangakkara on Sunday and the bowler was taken out of the attack when he repeated it against Herath in his second over of the day. Sri Lanka had resumed its second innings on the overnight 340 for seven and added 35 without further loss before sending the West Indians into bat again.