Karunaratne unbeaten for Sri Lanka on day-1
Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne played a superb knock of unbeaten 132 as Sri Lanka were 267 for three wickets at close of the first days play of the first Test match against West Indies played at Galle International Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Sri Lanka chose to bat first with out any hesitation to get advantage of the Galle wicket at the first innings and openers Karunaratne and Pathum Nissanka were leading the way to build up their total to make challenge against opponents. Both openers survived difficult examinations from paceman Shenon Gabriel and spinners Rahkeem Cornwall and Jomel Warrican during the first session which ended with 61 for no loss at lunch.
Both Karunaratne and Nissanka who was promoted to open for the first time added 139 runs record stand which was the highest Sri Lankan open combination against West Indies and previous it was by ( 130 ) Michael Vindort and Malinda Warnapura in 2008. Nisaanka was departed at the first wicket for 56 runs at the 50th over which came in 140 balls with seven fours. The paceman Gabriel made breakthrough to finish Nissanka’s innings with Cornwall took a catch at first slip. At tea time Sri Lanka were 163 for one wicket with Karunaratne remaining 89.
However spinner Roston Chase came back strongly to pick up two quick wickets after tea break and Oshada Fernando and experienced Angelo Matthews both scored three runs each and Sri Lanka were 170 for three at one stage . However Karunaratne and Dhananjaya de Silva once again associated in a 97 runs fourth wicket stand to build up innings to respectable total of 267 for three wickets when the bad light stopped play two overs before for the day.
Karunaratne was the day hero with completing his 13th Test century and second against West Indies.He struck 13 fours for his 265 ball innings while Dhananjaya de Silva who was on the bench through out the T20 world cup series came in fine form with an unbeaten 56 in 77 balls struck five boundaries.
West Indies skipper Kreigg Brathwaite used eight bowlers including himself but spinner Roston Chase was the only successful bowler of the day picking two wickets for 42 runs in his 17 over spell.
Both leg spinners Lasith Embuldeniya and Praveen Jayawickrama were named for the Sri Lanka team with spin all rounders Ramesh Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva while West Indies also included their key off spinner Rahkeem Cornwall with Rostan Chase and Jomel Warrican to strength the spin department.