Sri Lanka crawl to 81-3 as Roach strikes

Colombo: West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach grabbed two quick wickets in a lively opening spell to put Sri Lanka under pressure on the first day of the second Test on Tuesday.

Roach removed openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Tharanga Paranavitana before the hosts struggled to reach 84-3 in their first innings at stumps on a new pitch helping the fast bowlers.

He conceded just 18 runs in his disciplined eight-over opening spell.

Skipper Kumar Sangakkara was unbeaten on 25 and Thilan Samaraweera was on 26 not out when bad light stopped play just after tea. Only 37.2 overs were bowled in the day, with no play possible in the morning session due to a wet outfield.

Sangakkara and Samaraweera put on 50 for the unfinished fourth wicket stand to steady the innings, but found runs hard to come by against an impressive West Indies pace attack in overcast conditions.

Samaraweera smashed the match`s first six, hooking Roach in the afternoon session. He also hit two fours in his 69-ball knock.

Sangakkara has so far hit two boundaries in his 92-ball knock.

Sri Lanka, electing to bat after winning the toss, suffered a setback in the fifth over when Dilshan was bowled by Roach after contributing only four runs.

Roach nearly got the wicket of Sangakkara with a rising delivery, but skipper Darren Sammy failed to latch on to a sharp chance at third slip when the batsman was on two.

The West Indies paceman did not have to wait long for his second success as he had Paranavitana (16) caught by Dwayne Bravo at second slip to send the hosts struggling at 31-2.

Sri Lanka were in trouble when new-ball bowler Sammy bowled former captain Mahela Jayawardene for two runs. Sammy, who bowled 17 overs in his opening spell, has so far taken one wicket for 25 runs.

The West Indies, relying on pace in helpful conditions, introduced spin after 30 overs, with left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn sending down three overs for nine runs.

Sri Lanka made three changes from the side that drew the opening Test in Galle, bringing in pacemen Nuwan Kulasekara and Suranga Lakmal, and spinner Rangana Herath in place of Dammika Prasad, Thilan Thushara and Suraj Randiv.

Lakmal made his Test debut.

The tourists replaced Andre Russell with Benn for the only change in their team.

The West Indies are seeking their first Test victory in Sri Lanka, having lost five and drawn two of their seven matches.