West Indies finally had cause for some celebration in Sri Lanka with their first win of the tour at Premadasa International Stadium on Tuesday night when they defeated Sri Lanka by 49 runs.

It was a victory greeted with more relief than elation and whilst the champagne corks were not whizzing around the dressing, the win has certainly boosted their flagging morale.

Their hard-earned victory was founded upon a solid top order batting performance that saw them post a competitive 251 target and an especially spirited effort in the field, led by man of the match Corey Collymore who picked up five wickets and career best figures.

The slightly built fast bowler, called onto the tour for the one-day matches, ripped through the Sri Lankan middle and lower order, as the home side lost their last six wickets for 17 runs and were eventually bowled out for 201.

Sri Lanka had been cruising towards the West Indies total after their cavalier openers, Sanath Jayasuriya and Avishka Gunawardene, had smashed 82 runs off the first 15 overs.

But West Indies players, so uninspiring in the field against Zimbabwe on Sunday when they looked like they had thrown in the white towel, first fought themselves back into the game thanks to the efforts of their slow bowlers.

Carl Hooper came into the attack in the eighth over and gradually pulled back the initiative in a crucial five over spell that yielded just seven runs.

Left-arm spinner Neil McGarrell then replaced his captain and dismissed Gunwardene fourth ball. The broad-shouldered left-hander shuffled down the wicket and was stumped for 38 (92 for one).

Jayasuriya was still going strong though at the other end, reaching his 46th one-day fifty off 60 balls and then hoisting McGarrel for four boundaries and one six over wide mid-on.

But Jayasuriya, playing in his 248th one-day game, made a crucial mistake when he tried to scramble a quick single and left Atapattu yards short of his crease (119 for two).

Thirteen minutes later West Indian's now burgeoning self-belief was bolstered further when Mahela Jawardene slashed wildly at a delivery from Pedro Collins to be caught behind for two and Jayasuriya top-edged a sweep to be caught at short fine leg for 83 (138 for four).

Kumar Sangakkara and Russel Arnold, needing a further 113 runs in 22.4 overs, steadied the innings with a 46 run stand in 52 balls and were on course for victory when Sangakkara smeared unnecessarily across the line and was caught behind to give Colleymore the first of his five wickets (184 for five).

Sri Lanka then crumbled as Colleymore, bowling with an energetic re-modeled open-chested action, tore into the lower order.

Suresh Perera was brilliantly caught behind by Jacobs for four as he aimed an extravagant cover drive and Kumar Dharmasena prodded diffidently to be dismissed in a similar manner two balls later.

In the next over Russel Arnold was adjudged lbw, harshly, as he tried to sweep a delivery from Chris Gayle. Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa were quickly mopped up by Colleymore to give him his first five-wicket haul and Jacobs a world record equaling six victims behind the stumps.

Earlier in the day West Indies had won the toss and batted on a surface that traditional favours the side batting first - the highest score successfully chased in 46 one-day matches here is just 243.

Nevertheless, the Sri Lanka bowlers helped the West Indian cause even further by starting poorly, even Vaas who uncharacteristically bowled two wides in his opening spell.

Gayle made a quickfire 21, his first runs in five innings, but it was Brian Lara with a serene 44-ball half century and Daren Ganga with a fluent 58 who laid the foundations for a large score.

The pair added 74 in 72 balls for the second wicket before Ganga, who had been dropped earlier in the slips and given not out after walking for a catch behind, was run out.

Ramnaresh Sarwan, though, gave Lara solid support and at one stage West Indies, on 151 for two with 23 overs remaining and then 209 for three with ten overs to spare, looked set for a score in excess of 270.

But Sri Lanka's slow bowlers pulled the West Indies back in the final ten overs, taking six wickets and conceding just 41 runs. In the event, it proved immaterial.