Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne gave his side the lead with an unbeaten century on the first day of the first Test against the West Indies, whose debutante Jeremy Sollozano was hospitalized on Sunday after suffering a fielding injury. Poor lighting ended the day’s play at the Galle International Cricket Stadium with two overs to spare and the hosts were reduced to 267-3. Karunaratne won the toss on a slow surface and batted for the day with a 139-run partnership for the first wicket with Pathum Nissenka.
Part-time spinner Roston Chase got West Indies back in the game by dismissing Oshada Fernando and Angelo Mathews for three runs each.
But Sri Lanka withdrew the initiative as Karunaratne put on a 97-run stand for the fourth wicket with Dhananjaya de Silva.
This was Karunaratne’s 13th and fourth Test century of the year. He has scored over 750 runs in 2021, including a career-best 244 against Bangladesh despite playing only 10 innings.
Karunaratne attempted a pull shot off Chase and the ball hit the helmet grille of Sollozano, who was fielding at short leg, leaving West Indies scared.
Medical staff treated him on the ground before being taken on a stretcher to an waiting ambulance.
“He was scanned at a hospital in Colombo and will be kept under observation overnight,” Arjun de Silva, the head of the Sri Lanka Cricket Medical Panel, told AFP.
“There is no internal bleeding and the scans show no structural damage,” he said.
West Indies said in a media release that he was scanned at a hospital in Colombo and would be kept under observation overnight.
– ‘We had to show patience’ –
Shannon Gabriel provided the breakthrough for the tourists when they had Nissanka – chasing a full delivery outside off-stump – caught by Rahkim Cornwall at first slip for 56.
“We had to show patience in the first session and see. We got through that tough phase and from then on it was good to bat,” Nissaka told reporters.
“Frustrated I worked hard and couldn’t make much use of the start I got,” he said.
But he missed the opportunity to dismiss Karunaratne for 14 when Cornwall got the outside edge of the bat but Jermaine Blackwood could not catch it at slip as he attempted to catch it with one hand.
West Indies were unsuccessfully reviewed after Karunaratne played an unusual reverse sweep off Jomel Warrican’s conservative left-arm spin and the ball hit his front pad.
Television replays showed that the impact was outside the off-stump.
The tourists lost their second review due to a catch-back appeal against Nissenka off a chase ball.
He was denied a second wicket in the afternoon session when Warrican failed to return with Fernando on three.
But the relief was brief, with Fernando taking his first wicket to the chase by a well-caught catch by Nkrumah Bonner at short leg.
Mathews’ half-hour stay at the crease was unconstitutional and West Indies continued to attack with tight field settings.
To break the ties, Mathews attempted to cross the chase, but found lone fielder Jason Holder at mid-wicket.
West Indies took the second new ball soon after 80 overs but could not break the Karunaratne-de Silva partnership.
The tourists surprised fans by dropping their most experienced player and the eighth highest Test wicket-taker Kemar Roach.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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