SL vs WI, 2nd Test: Openers make steady start for Sri Lanka

Opening batsman Pathum Nissanka scored an unbeaten 61 runs to get Sri Lanka off to a good start in a rain-curtailed day of the second Test against West Indies at the Galle International Stadium on Monday.

At stumps, Sri Lanka were 113/1 with Pathum Nissanka (61*) and Oshada Fernando (2*) unbeaten at the crease.

Nissanka, who completed his third Test half-century, and captain Dimuth Karunaratne shared 106 runs for the first wicket. Nissanka looked more fluent as his runs came off 109 deliveries. He hit a six and four boundaries.

The pitch in Galle has spin and bounce on the first day but the three West Indies spinners failed to take full advantage.

Earlier, Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and opted to bat first. Sri Lanka dropped fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera to give batsman Charith Asalanka his first Test match on his home ground.

For West Indies, Rahkeem Cornwall and Shannon Gabriel made way for Veerasammy Permaul and Kemar Roach. Pathum Nissanka showed intent from the start, hitting a beautiful straight drive past Jason Holder in just the second over and following it up with another boundary off Roach in the next over.

The pacers made good use of the new ball and the conditions early on, creating a few half-chances in the process but the openers remained largely untroubled for the most part.

While Karunaratne was cautious in his approach, Nissanka was dismissive of any loose delivery, regularly finding the ropes. He welcomed Permaul into the attack with a six off his second over and soon got to his fifty. The skipper too soon started to take the attack to the spinners. He smashed Roston Chase for two fours in an over but was out caught and bowled off the final ball of the over for 42, breaking the 106-run partnership for the first wicket.

West Indies also lost a couple of reviews, as well as the wicket, didn’t offer any semblance of a chance to the bowlers. There is rain predicted on all remaining four days and both the teams will have that on the back of their minds while trying to come up with any strategy. Shortly afterward, the umpires called stumps after bad light forced play to halt, allowing less than 35 overs of action on the first day.

Sri Lanka won the first Test at the same venue by 187 runs and the West Indies need to win the second to draw the two-match series.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 113 for 1 (Pathum Nissanka 61; Roston Chase 1-33)

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