Bravo lifts West Indies after early blow

Updated: Dec 01, 2010, 19:28 PM IST

Kandy: West Indian Darren Bravo lifted a rain-hit opening day of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka with a fluent, unbeaten 63, his third half-century of the series, on Wednesday.

Bravo`s knock, which included nine fours, enabled West Indies to recover to 134 for two after the exit of Chris Gayle for a duck from the first ball of the game.

Bravo put on 115 with Devon Smith who scored 55 off 100 balls (seven fours). Shivnarine Chanderpaul was unbeaten on 11 when bad light ended play 45 minutes before the scheduled close.

Sri Lanka missed chances by Smith and Bravo off the luckless Dilhara Fernando who ended up wicketless and conceding 50 runs. Fernando had replaced injured Nuwan Kulsekara in the home team.

Thilan Samaraweera failed to cling on to a difficult chance at gully offered by Smith at 45. Mahela Jayawardene, one of the safest slip fielders in the Sri Lanka side, dropped a sitter at third slip when Bravo was on 56.

Only 8.3 overs were possible in the afternoon session before rain forced an early tea.

Young fast bowler Suranga Lakmal had baptised international cricket`s newest Test venue, the Pallakele Stadium, by dismissing Gayle, trapped lbw.

West Indies, put into bat, made two changes from the last Test with Smith and Nelon Pascal replacing Adrian Barath and Shane Shillingford.

The series stands tied at 0-0 after two draws.

Bureau Report