PROVIDENCE, Guyana, March 26, 2008 (AFP) – Chaminda Vaas played a starring role with the ball, as Sri Lanka created a bit of history, when they completed a 121-run victory over West Indies in the opening Test on Wednesday.
Vaas captured five wickets for 61 runs from 22.2 overs and Muttiah Muralitharan took three for 112 from 45 overs, as West Indies, chasing a highly improbable, if impossible 437 for victory, were dismissed for 315 in their second innings about 15 minutes before the scheduled close.
Fittingly, it was the combination of Vaas and Muralitharan that formalised the result with 5.4 overs remaining.
Vaas delivered a rising ball to West Indies batting bunny Daren Powell which he tried to scoop over mid-off and Muralitharan back-pedalling held a remarkable catch reaching backwards to hand Sri Lanka a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series.
The victory however, did not come easy for Sri Lanka though, as Dwayne Bravo, Ramnaresh Sarwan, and West Indies captain Chris Gayle all collected half-centuries to extend the home team’s innings deep into the last day at the Guyana National Stadium.
Sri Lanka’s run to victory was made difficult by Bravo with the top score of 83; Sarwan, who hit his second half-ce