Karunaratne, Nissanka, De Silva hold the Sri Lanka innings together on day 1
Sri Lanka 267 for 3 (Karunaratne 132*, Nissanka 56, De Silva 56, Chase 42/2) at Stumps, Day 1.
West Indies and Sri Lanka squared off in the first game of a 2 Test-series at Galle International Stadium on November 21. Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and opted to bat first on a dry surface.
West Indies handed debut to 26-year-old Trinidad batter Jeremy Solozano; also they dropped veteran pacer Kemar Roach for right-arm pacer Shannon Gabriel.
Karunaratne grits it out for a well-made 132*
Youngster Pathum Nissanka opened first time in his short three-Test career so far. Both openers - Karunaratne and Nissanka - struggled in the first session in front of seamers, Shannon Gabriel and Jason Holder. Especially, Holder bowled tight lines to trouble the Sri Lankan opening duo. Karunaratne was dropped on 14 by Jermaine Blackwood at slip. Before completing the first session, debutant Solazano got hit on the helmet while fielding at short-leg by a pull shot struck by Karunaratne, which put him in hospital.
Karunaratne found his touch in the second session and he started to play his shots all over the ground. He completed his fifty off 118 balls, whereas his partner Nissanka also reached his fifty off 132 balls. After reaching their fifties, both the players tried to up the run-rate by playing attacking strokes. However, Nissanka lost his wicket on 56 and the ball delivered by Gabriel took the thick edge of the bat and went straight into the hands of first slip Rahkeem Cornwall. Both batters added 139 runs for the first wicket to lay a strong foundation for the team.
Veteran batter Angelo Matthews looked woefully out of touch
One-down batter Oshada Fernando didn’t look in his groove and got out on just 3, as Nkrumah Bonner took a quick catch at short leg. Pacer Holder and spinner Chase troubled new batter Angelo Mathews with their intimidating bowling spells.
In desperation, Mathews tried to attack Chase, but ended up giving a catch to Holder at deep mid-wicket. All-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva came to bat at five and opened his account with a boundary off Chase. On the other end, Karunaratne completed his century off 212 balls. The 33-year-old batter continued to milk runs after reaching his hundred.
Dhananjay also batted fluently and added runs by taking singles and doubles. He completed his fifty off just 62 balls. Both batters added 97 runs for the fourth wicket and remained unbeaten at the end of the day.
SL will look to capitalise on good start
The visitors used eight bowlers on the first day, which tells about what kind of a day they had against the host batters. Sri Lanka will look to capitalise on their good start today to post a huge score tomorrow on this pitch, which will assist spinners from the third day, to avoid batting in the second innings.