PORT-OF-SPAIN: Tillekeratne Dilshan hit an unbeaten 58 on Thursday as Sri Lanka rebounded from a mid-innings collapse to reach 217 for five at close of a rain-shortened opening day of the second cricket Test against the West Indies at the Queen’s Park Oval.
The 31-year-old Dilshan hit seven fours off 57 balls, sharing an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 100 off 101 balls with fellow right-hander Chamara Silva.
The 28-year-old Silva, recalled to the team, struck six fours in an undefeated 37 off 48 deliveries.
Earlier, Fidel Edwards (three for 50) and Jerome Taylor (two for 63) had given the West Indies the advantage, ignoring two rain interruptions as Sri Lanka slipped to 117 for five.
Sri Lanka, 1-0 up in the two-match rubber and seeking a first series win in the Caribbean, started quickly led by left-handed openers Michael Vandort and Malinda Warnapura.
They capitalised on some sloppy West Indies fielding and added 62 with a flurry of boundaries at a run-a-minute before Edwards stalled their progress in the second hour.
Warnapura, who hit 120 and 62 in the first Test, reeled off eight boundaries in 35 before edging Edwards to third slip where opening batsman Sewnarine Chattergoon, earning his first Test cap on his 27th birthday, pouched a good low catch.
Warnapura should have been dismissed at 12, but Dwayne Bravo floored one of three catches the home team let slip on the day. Vandort, too, benefited when Daren Powell failed to grasp a difficult, one-handed grab low to his right as the batsman miscued a full toss.
West Indies still went into lunch with the momentum at 89 for two as Edwards claimed the prize wicket of Kumar Sangakkara just before the break. Sangakkara snicked a comfortable catch through to wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin after scoring 10.
The resumption after lunch was delayed by 20 minutes by the first shower, but the 26-year-old Edwards soon brightened the mood of a disappointing crowd of about 2,000.
Vandort spent 81 balls compiling 30 before he clipped a leg side catch through to Ramdin. The opener struck five fours.
Soon after Vandort’s dismissal, rain returned at 98 for three and stalled play for another hour and 15 minutes. Taylor took up the mantle as the West Indies continued to dominate when the action restarted.
Thilan Samaraweera (six) never suggested permanence and provided Taylor with his 50th Test wicket when he edged to captain Chris Gayle at first slip. Taylor’s 51st was even better.
Skipper Mahela Jayawardena, who worked his way to 26 off 41 balls had his off stump clipped by an outswinger of perfect length.
Dilshan and Silva played with typical flourish before rain returned for the third time and drove the players off before tea. The Sri Lankan pair maintained their momentum on resumption after an hour and 20 minutes delay. — AP
Sri Lanka — 1st innings: M. Vandort c Ramdin b Edwards 30, M. Warnapura c Chattergoon b Edwards 35, K. Sangakkara c Ramdin b Edwards 10, M. Jayawardene b Taylor 26, T. Samaraweera c Gayle b Taylor 6, T. Dilshan (batting) 58, C. Silva (batting) 37, Extras (lb-8, w-3, nb-4): 15; Total (for five wkts. in 46.3 overs): 217.
Fall of wickets: 1-62, 2-72, 3-93, 4-112, 5-117.
West Indies bowling: Powell 10-4-43-0, Taylor 14-5-63-2, Edwards 12.3-2-50-3, Gayle 1-1-0-0, Bravo 9-1-53-0.