It was a long day for the West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite on Monday. After Sri Lanka won the toss and put the hosts to bat, Brathwaite opened the innings along with John Campbell.
At the end of the day, he walked back to the pavilion with all-rounder Rakheem Cornwall (43), just one run short of what would be his 9th Test hundred.
The honours were shared on the day by both teams as West Indies ended the day on 287/7 with a 65-run partnership between Brathwaite and Cornwall that steadied their ship.
It was Suranga Lakmal (3/71) who again played tormenter-in-chief to the West Indies top order and had the hosts struggling at 15/2 after he removed both John Campbell and Nkrumah Bonner, the centurion from the last match, off successive overs.
Brathwaite and Mayers continued to look uneasy against Lakmal but started to rebuild together, picking up runs off Lasith Embuldeniya (1/79) and bringing up the fifty-run partnership off Dushmantha Chameera’s first delivery in the 21st over. The pair saw out the morning session at 86/2.
Looking to shift the tide, Jermaine Blackwood came out swinging, hitting Lakmal for a four and a six in the 29th over.
He hit one more boundary off the Sri Lankan seamer before Lakmal got his revenge, drawing an outside edge from Blackwell (18) and a diving catch from Dickwella.
Read More | West Indies vs Sri Lanka 2021: Kraigg Brathwaite And Rahkeem Cornwall Set The Hope For Challenging 1st Innings Total
In the company of Jason Holder, he raised his half-century off 116 deliveries. The veteran duo raced to a fifty-run stand in just 64 deliveries, with Holder scoring at close to a run-a-ball. The all-rounder hit five fours in his 34-ball stay before falling to Dhananjaya de Silva (1/16) for 30.
Two balls later Dhananjaya was celebrating the wicket of Joshua da Silva, given out lbw for what would have been a duck. The batter called for what proved a wise review, with ball tracking predicting the delivery was going down the legside.
Not that da Silva had expected it, sheepishly making his way back to the middle having almost walked off the field of play.
That did not prove too costly for the Sri Lankans, with da Silva caught behind for one off Chameera (1/56) shortly after tea. The West Indies were in trouble at that point at 185/6.
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