Chandimal denies charges, Lanka pile on runs

Chandimal denies charges, Lanka pile on runs

Kusal Mendis of Sri Lanka hits a boundary during his innings of 87 against the West Indies at Gros Islet, St. Lucia, on Sunday. (AFP Photo)

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal denied tampering with the ball by using a sweet in his pocket before his team raced into a substantial 287-run lead on the fourth day of the second Test against the West Indies.

Following the controversy of day three, when the start of play was delayed by two hours with the Sri Lankan captain refusing to lead his team onto the field for the continuation of the West Indies first innings, the International Cricket Council confirmed a charge of "altering the condition of the ball" -- effectively ball tampering -- against Chandimal.

Match officials charged Chandimal after television footage from the final session's play on Friday appeared to show the captain taking sweets out from his left pocket and putting them in his mouth, before applying the artificial substance to the ball which the umpires viewed as an attempt to change its condition.

Chandimal will face a hearing at the end of the Test.

If found guilty, he could be suspended from the third and final Test of the series, beginning in Barbados on Saturday.

Despite being at the centre of the storm, the Sri Lankan skipper put aside that immense distraction in supporting the in-form Kusal Mendis in a fifth-wicket stand of 117 that helped lift the visitors from the depths of 48 for four to 334 for eight in their second innings and a lead of 287 by the close of play on Sunday.

Chandimal eventually fell for 39 in the afternoon session but Mendis continued to anchor the Sri Lankan middle-order rally with a top score of 87.

There was further resistance in an innings of 62 from Niroshan Dickwella and 48 from Roshen Silva which tilted the balance of the match in Sri Lanka's favour.

Once again Shannon Gabriel was the spearhead of the West Indies bowling effort, his figures of six for 57 giving him ten wickets in a Test for the first time. His match analysis of 11 for 116 is already the best by a West Indian against Sri Lanka and the best by a West Indian in Tests in St Lucia.

Brief scores: 

Sri Lanka: 253 and 334/8 (Kusal Mendis 87, Dinesh Chandimal 39, Roshen Silva 48, Niroshan Dickwella 62; Shannon Gabriel 6/57) vs West India 300.