Johnson hits century as Windies U19s flounder
West Indies Under-19 batsman Jordan Johnson (right) drives as Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Sharujan Shanmuganathan (centre) reacts during the second Youth "Test" in Dambulla on Wednesday.(Photo: CWI Media)

DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka (CMC) — Left-hander Jordan Johnson struck a remarkable third hundred of the tour to keep West Indies Under-19s afloat but Sri Lanka Under-19s remained favourites to win the decisive second Youth "Test" here Wednesday.

Trailing by a massive 199 runs on first innings after dismissing Sri Lanka U19s for 326, the visitors ended day two on 251 for eight in their second innings — a lead of only 52 runs — thanks to Jordan's brilliant unbeaten 133.

Openers Steve Wedderburn (37) and Stephan Pascal (25) both again got starts but failed to capitalised as West Indies U19s slumped from a promising position of 237 for four, losing four quick wickets for 14 runs in the space of 33 deliveries.

Entering at number three after Pascal was caught at the wicket off left-arm spinner Kaveesha Piyumal (2-55) after striking four fours in a breezy 30-ball knock, Johnson set about controlling the innings for his side.

Firstly, he put on 71 for the second wicket with fellow Jamaican Wedderburn, who struck four fours and a six off 84 balls, before adding a further 48 for the third wicket with Mavendra Dindyal (15).

He also stitched together partnerships of 34 for the fourth wicket with Devonie Joseph (16) and 45 for the fifth with Joshua Dorne (16) before the collapse ensued.

All told, Johnson faced 136 deliveries and crunched 16 fours and a six, the knock following up his first innings top score of 52.

The performance also came in the wake of his magnificent 149 in the first innings of the opening Youth "Test" last week and his 105 in the final Youth One-Day International two weeks ago.

Resuming earlier on 191 for four, Sri Lanka U19s were rallied by a counter-attacking 70 off 49 balls from Malsha Tharupathi, the left-hander crunching half-dozen fours and four sixes.

West Indies U19s had done well to get remove Dinura Kalupahana (33), Diniru Abeywickramasingha (1) and Sharujan Shanmuganathan (36) quickly as Sri Lanka U19s lost three wickets in adding only 42 runs, to be 233 for seven.

However, Tharupathi frustrated the visitors in a 120-run, eighth-wicket stand with Vihas Thewmika (31 not out) before left-arm spinner Nathan Sealy (4-82) wiped out the tail.

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