Jayawardene resists before rain ruins third day
Stumps Sri Lanka 165 for 3 (M Jayawardene 51*, Samaraweera 11*) trail West Indies 580 for 9 dec by 415 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
A testing morning spell from the West Indies bowlers had the hosts struggling at 165 for three on the third day in Galle, before bad light, then rain, intervened to offer them some respite. The hosts will surely have one eye on a draw with just two days remaining in the match and more rain forecast for the week. Before the interrutption, there was movement, pace, spin and bounce from the West Indies attack, all of which made batting difficult, and despite the presence of the experienced Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera in the middle, Sri Lanka ended the day's play knowing they had a steep climb ahead of them.
West Indies didn't have to wait long for their first wicket of the morning as Tharanga Paranavitana, who had poked, prodded and wafted for 10 during his agonising 53-ball stay, was eventually put out of misery by Kemar Roach, who jagged one back in to uproot the off stump. West Indies' seamers had beaten Paranavitana's edge on numerous occasions, both last evening and this morning, and the opener never looked like making a substantial contribution to the Sri Lankan recovery effort.
Kumar Sangakkara was characteristically classy in his 73, combining measured defense with a spate of serene cover drives off the seamers, while negotiating the lone spinner, Shane Shillingford, with relative ease, despite the turn and bounce on offer. The Sri Lanka captain raced to his half-century in 45 deliveries after having ended the previous day's play on 33 off 32 balls, but adopted a more watchful approach after the milestone, following the loss of Paranavitana.
Dwayne Bravo persevered with a good length outside the off stump for Sangakkara throughout the attritional session, with a short cover in place in the hope of enticing an aerial drive. But it was the change-up yorker that did the job for Bravo. After Sangakkara had watched ball after ball fly through to the keeper, a terrific delivery that angled in from round the wicket sneaked under the bat to peg back the middle stump.
While Sangakkara's patience was tested at one end from Bravo, Jayawardene was facing an interrogation of his own from Shillingford, bowling from the Fort End. Jayawardene had twice advanced down the track to whip the spinner over midwicket, but struggled whenever he attempted to hit against the turn. He survived a couple of extremely close lbw shouts - one which was unsuccessfully reviewed by West Indies, and another that they wrongly chose not to refer - in addition to almost chopping onto the stumps, attempting to cut too close to his body. Darren Sammy kept the pressure on right through the morning session for Shillingford, adding a fourth fielder to the trio of close-in catchers that awaited a mistake from the batsmen.
The foot remained firmly on the Sri Lankans' throat when they returned from the break, but there was just enough time for Jayawardene to complete his 37th half-century, before the umpires deemed it too dark to continue, minutes before the heavens opened up and washed out the remaining day's play.