Karunaratne, Chandimal pile on runs against West Indies

GALLE: Opener Dimuth Karunaratne missed out on a maiden double hundred but his 238-run stand with Dinesh Chandimal put Sri Lanka on course for a big first-innings total against West Indies in the opening test at Galle on Thursday.

The hosts, who opted to bat first, reached 344 for the loss of three wickets on the second day, with Karunaratne falling on 186 just a couple of overs before the interval.

Dinesh Chandimal was unbeaten on 113 with captain Angelo Mathews (one) at the crease.

With the slow pitch offering little assistance to bowlers, left-hander Karunaratne, unbeaten on 135 overnight, and Chandimal continued to plunder runs.

Karunaratne hit 16 boundaries and a six in his 354-ball knock and was finally out when he offered a return catch to part-time off-spinner Marlon Samuels.

West Indies made life difficult for themselves by spilling chances on Wednesday and they again failed to make most of their opportunities on the second morning.

Chandimal, who was dropped on 11 on the first day, survived another chance on 82 when Jermaine Blackwood allowed the ball to burst through his fingers at point off fast bowler Shannon Gabriel.

Right-handed batsman Chandimal made the most of his luck and completed his fifth hundred in tests with a lofted drive over mid-off against Gabriel.