C’paul steadies WI

Associated Press

Colombo, July 13:

Skipper Shivnarine Chanderpaul anchored a youthful West Indies team after the tourists experienced an early scare on the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka. Chanderpaul was undefeated on 69 at the Singhalese Sports Club as the West Indies reached 271 for six before bad light halted play 30 minutes before the scheduled close with eight overs remaining.

The lanky Omari Banks was 30 not out. Chanderpaul was involved in two major half-century partnerships that rescued the tourists after they collapsed to 113/5 after lunch thanks to two quick wickets by Lasith Malinga.

Malinga claimed Narsingh Deonarine (12) and Dwayne Smith (4) in the first over after lunch.

Chanderpaul combined with rookie Denesh Ramdin for a battling sixth-wicket performance of 79 to rescue the innings from an uneasy 113-5.

Ramdin was far from overawed by the situation and played both Malinga and Muttiah Muralitharan with a mix of caution and aggression before he dragged a Gayan Wijekoon delivery onto his stumps after an 84-minute effort, facing 74 balls. He went on to join his skipper in an unbeaten seventh wicket stand of 79.

Muralitharan took the wicket of hard hitting rookie Runako Morton in the 28th over. Sri Lankan rookie Wijekoon claimed his first Test wicket when he trapped opener Sylvester Joseph for 28 in the 20th over. Xavier Marshall, another West Indian making his debut, was the first batsman to fall when trapped lbw by Chaminda Vaas for 10.