GEORGETOWN (Guyana): Sri Lanka tightened its grip on the opening cricket Test as West Indies limped to lunch on 107 for four on day three on Monday.

Left-arm seamer Thilan Thushara grabbed two wickets and ace offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan added one.

Ramnaresh Sarwan provided resistance in an unbeaten 57 but the home team was still struggling in reply to the visitors’ first innings of 476 for eight declared.

Thushara, in only his second Test, took two for 32. His nine-over spell to begin the day dented West Indies.

Muralitharan took one for 38 and should have had a second when his skipper Mahela Jayawardene dropped an easy chance at first slip off Dwayne Bravo. Bravo went to the interval unbeaten on six.

Early strike

Thushara gave Sri Lanka an early breakthrough when left-handed opener Devon Smith fiddled outside the off stump and feathered an edge to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene. Smith added just six runs to his overnight eight.

Marlon Samuels fell in similar fashion for only five, his edge thicker and Jayawardene producing a dive to haul it in.

Vice-captain Sarwan, in his first Test for 10 months due to various injuries, batted with authority. The stylish right-hander brought up his half century off 101 balls and hit five fours, including one all-run.

He and Shivnarine Chanderpaul were threatening to loosen Sri Lanka’s grip in a fourth-wicket stand of 41 when Muralitharan struck just before lunch. Chanderpaul lofted a catch to short midoff to leave West Indies at 99 for four. — AP

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