West Indies added nine runs in 29 balls

Galle (Sri Lanka) (AFP) - Rain forced an early tea break with the West Indies tail still hanging on after avoiding the follow-on day three of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle on Tuesday.

West Indies added nine runs in 29 balls and lost Rahkeem Cornwall in a brief passage of 4.5 overs after lunch before the heavens opened. The forecast for the next two days was more wet weather.

With the new ball due, Suranga Lakmal was called up to bowl the 79th over of the West Indies innings from the City End and he dismissed Cornwall in his fifth delivery.

Lakmal bowled a short ball and Cornwall couldn’t resist the pull shot but got the execution wrong and was caught by Ramesh Mendis running backwards from mid-wicket. Cornwall made 39 off 58 balls with five fours and a six.

But the 49-run stand between Cornwall and Joshua da Silva ensured West Indies avoided the follow-on.

Earlier, Sri Lanka had posted 386 all out after electing to bat first. Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne posted his 13th Test hundred, going on to make 147 while Dhananjaya de Silva (61) and Pathum Nissanka (56) scored half-centuries.

West Indies collapsed to 113 for six at stumps on day two but recovered thanks to a rearguard action by the lower order. Kyle Mayers (45), Jason Holder (36) and Cornwall (39) all chipped in.

West Indies’ only warm-up game ahead of the series, a four-day match against Board President’s XI in Colombo, was called off without a ball being bowled due to rain.