Sri Lanka destroyed West Indies in the final innings, leaving them at 52/6 after day four, in pursuit of 348 runs, behind offspinner Ramesh Mendis' four wickets.
Mendis and Lasith Embuldeniya were deadly on a turning pitch as both regularly attacked the stumps. The straighter ball did maximum damage for the duo, leaving West Indies' batters in constant doubt. Kraigg Brathwaite was caught LBW during a pull attempt by Mendis after misjudging the length. Then, Jermaine Blackwood attempted to hit himself out of pressure but was caught at mid-on.
Both bowlers then picked up four wickets in a 14-ball period as West Indies struggled. Kyle Mayers left a ball that was not turning, and Jason Holder bowled beaten on the outside edge. Shai Hope and Roston Chase were beaten on the inside edge. Having slipped to 18/6, West Indies were in danger of being bowled out on the fourth day itself. The fourth day ended early for Nkrumah Bonner and Joshua de Silva because of bad light.
Similarly, the play was delayed at the beginning of the day due to rain. When it started, Praveen Jayaickrama picked up his fourth wicket to end West Indies' first innings on 230. Sri Lanka wasted little time thereafter, despite being put under pressure early by West Indies' spinners.
Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews played critical roles in reversing some of this pressure. Sri Lanka added 147 runs in quick time during the second session despite a possible rain interruption expected. The duo had initially been in trouble with Sri Lanka but later together they were able to give the hosts complete control with a 123-run stand.
Rahkeem Cornwall, West Indies' premier spinner, opened the attack on a pitch that was turning square. Cornwall delivered immediately. Shai Hope plucked a sharp chance after Pathum Nissanka gloved a shot to the leg. Nisanka wasted a review along with his wicket, and the West Indies kept up the pressure from the other end as well. Sri Lanka fell to 39/2 after Oshada Fernando was bowled by Jomel Warrican for a straight one.
They missed another wicket opportunity when they chose not to review Karunaratne's dismissal with replays clearly showing that he was LBW. He had previously been dropped at slip. Karunaratne and Mathews used the sweep to good effect in an attacking stance with some luck going their way.
Having put Sri Lanka in control by lunch, the duo upped their game against the spinners in the second session. West Indies were forced to contain the runs instead of attacking as their chances paid off. Despite losing two wickets quickly, Sri Lanka built a big lead before Karunaratne declared and let his spinners dictate terms.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 386 (Karunaratne 147, De Silva 61, Chase 5-83) and 191/4d (Dimuth Karunaratne 83, Angelo Mathews 69*) lead West Indies 230 (Mayers 45, Jayawickrama 4-40) and 52/6 (Ramesh Mendis 4-17) by 296 runs.