SL vs WI, 1st Test: Karunaratne guides hosts to 267/3
A phenomenal knock by Dimuth Karunaratne (132*) put Sri Lanka in the driving seat on Day 1 of the first Test against West Indies in Galle. The Sri Lankan skipper led by example as the hosts compiled 267/3 after they opted to bat. Opener Pathum Nissanka (56) and middle-order batter Dhananjaya de Silva (56*) contributed as well. Here is the Day 1 report.
Why does this story matter?
Sri Lanka and West Indies are locking horns in the first of the two-match Test series. Both sides entered the Test series after faring poorly in the recently-concluded T20 World Cup. Interestingly, three of the last five Tests between them have resulted in a draw. West Indies are yet to win a Test series against Sri Lanka away from home.
How did Day 1 pan out?
Sri Lanka were off to a brilliant start after electing to bat. Openers Nissanka and Karunaratne shared a century stand, sailing through the first session. Shannon Gabriel finally broke the partnership, removing Nissanka. The likes of Oshada Fernando and Angelo Mathews departed in quick succession. Thereafter, Dhananjaya added 97 runs with Karunaratne. The duo is unbeaten, with SL finishing on 267/3.
Karunaratne led from the front
Karunaratne stole the show with an innings-defining knock on Day 1. The Lankan opener slammed his 13th century in Test cricket. Karunaratne batted the entire day in his first international match in nearly seven months. He is unbeaten on 132 off 265 balls (13 fours). The 33-year-old shared two valuable partnerships with Nissanka and Dhananjaya. Karunaratne now eyes the 150-run mark.
Three tons in last three Tests
Karunaratne has scored three tons in his last three Test matches. He has crossed the 50-run mark in his past five innings (132*, 66, 118, 244, and 75). Earlier this year, Karunaratne registered his career-best Test score (244 vs Bangladesh).
A look at the other talking points
Nissanka registered his second-half century in Test cricket (56 off 140 balls). Meanwhile, Dhananjaya fired a brisk 56* (77), smashing his ninth Test fifty. Besides, off-spinner Roston Chase was the pick of West Indies bowlers. He shone with figures of 2/42. Rahkeem Cornwall delivered as many as 20 overs. A total of eight bowlers were used by the visitors.