West Indies on top as SL top-order struggle

Galle: Three crucial dismissals put pressure upon Sri Lanka on day four of the first test against the West Indies, going to lunch at 264-6 and with a difficult task to avoid the follow-on.

Vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera made half-centuries but failed to press for a big score to match the visitors` first innings of 580-9 declared.

Sri Lanka`s last specialist batsman Anjelo Mathews was out at the stroke of lunch, leaving the lower order the task of scoring a further 116 runs to avoid follow-on.

After two sessions were lost to rain on day three, enforcing the follow-on appeared the most likely way a result could be achieved.

Sri Lanka resumed on 165-3. Jayawardene was caught behind off Kemar Roach for 59, including six boundaries.

Samaraweera was unluckily run out for 52 when striker Mathews straight drove and the ball deflected off bowler Dwayne Bravo`s boot to the stumps, catching Samaraweera outside the crease at the non-striker`s end. He hit six boundaries for his 24th test half-century.

Mathews made 27 before being caught by skipper Darren Sammy off spinner Shane Shillingford.

Prasanna Jayawardene was 20 not out at the break, to be joined by Suraj Randiv after the interval.

Roach had the best bowling figures for the West Indies with 2-58 off 16 overs. Andre Russell, Shillingford and Bravo picked up a wicket each.

Bureau Report