The West Indies will be praying for a lot more rain come Thursday as they stare defeat squarely in the face after slumping to 52-6 in their second innings still needing 296 runs for what would be an improbable, if not impossible victory.

After rain delayed the start of the fourth day of the Test, the West Indies resuming from their overnight score of 224-9, were eventually bowled out for 230 when Praveen Jayawickrama trapped Shannon Gabriel lbw for 2 leaving Joshua Da Silva not out on 15.

Jayawickrama finished with figures of 4-40 from 19.5 overs to be the best of Sri Lanka’s bowlers.

Leading by 156 on first innings, Sri Lanka led by Captain Dimuth Karunaratne’s 83 and Angelo Matthews unbeaten 69, raced to 191-4 in 40.5 overs, setting West Indies a target of 348.

The pair put on 123 for the third-wicket that effectively batted the West Indies out of the match.

Rahkeem Cornwall took 2-60 while Jomel Warrican finished with 2-42.

Batting a second time the West Indies batsmen were bamboozled by the Sri Lankan spinners crumbling to 18-5 by midway the 12th over.

Ramesh Mendis did most of the damage taking 4-17. He was supported by Lasith Embuldeniya, who took 2-18.

They did meet some late resistance, though, as Da Silva and Nkrumah Bonner, the only batsmen to reach double figures, have so far but on 38 for the seventh wicket. The former is not out in 15 while Bonner is on 18. They will be hoping to bat throughout Thursday’s final day with hopeful eyes on the clouds above.

West Indies were in a world of trouble at the end of day two of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle on Monday. Chasing a target of 386, the West Indies slumped to 113-6 at stumps still 273 runs behind on a day that promised much but instead descended into disaster.

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