Sri Lanka vs West Indies | Dimuth Karunaratne’s ton puts Sri Lanka on top

The home team finishes the opening day on 267/3 despite Chase’s twin strikes

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne slammed an unbeaten hundred to give his team the upper hand in Sunday’s opening Test against the West Indies, whose debutant Jeremy Solozano was taken to hospital after being hit on the helmet while fielding.

Bad light forced an early end to the day’s play in Galle with two overs remaining and the hosts finishing on 267/3.

Slow surface

Karunaratne batted through the day after winning the toss on a slow surface, making a 139-run stand for the first wicket with Pathum Nissanka.

Part-time spinner Roston Chase dismissed Oshada Fernando and Angelo Mathews for three each in quick succession to bring the West Indies back into the game.

But Sri Lanka wrestled back the initiative as Karunaratne shared a 97-run partnership with Dhananjaya de Silva for the fourth wicket.

This was Karunaratne’s 13th Test century and fourth this year. He has bagged more than 750 runs in 2021, including a career-best 244 against Bangladesh, despite only playing 10 innings.

Shannon Gabriel provided the breakthrough for the tourists when he had Nissanka — who was chasing a full delivery wide outside the off-stump — caught by Rahkeem Cornwall at first slip for 56.

But they squandered an opportunity to dismiss Karunaratne on 14, when Cornwall found the outside edge of the bat but Jermaine Blackwood at slip was unable to hold on as he attempted a one-handed grab.

West Indies unsuccessfully reviewed after Karunaratne played an uncharacteristic reverse sweep off the left-arm orthodox spin of Jomel Warrican and the ball struck his front pad.

Television replays showed the impact was outside off-stump.

The visitors lost their second review over a caught-behind appeal against Nissanka off the bowling of Chase.

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