DIMUTH KARUNARATNE led from the front, with an unbeaten 132, as hosts Sri Lanka ended the first day of the first Test match against the West Indies in a good position at Galle, as they closed on 267 runs for the loss of three wickets.
The Sri Lankan captain, who decided his team would bat first after winning the toss, has struck 13 fours in his 265-ball knock.
However, he survived a tough chance when on 14, he was dropped by WI vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood at slip off the bowling of off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall. The left-handed opening batsman made the West Indies pay for that lapse with a well-constructed innings, as he registered his 13th Test century, and his fourth in 2021.
He featured in an opening stand of 139 with Pathum Nissanka, who made 56 before he was taken at first slip by Cornwall off fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who was preferred over the more experienced Kemar Roach.
Roston Chase, with his off-breaks, removed Oshada Fernando and Angelo Mathews, for three apiece, after the tea break, but Karunaratne was joined by Dhananjaya de Silva as they produced an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 97.
Chase finished with figures of two wickets for 42 runs and Gabriel 1/56.
West Indies debutant Jeremy Solozano was taken to hospital after he was struck on the helmet while fielding at silly mid-on. He received the blow after Karunaratne pulled a short ball from Chase, during the afternoon session of play. According to a media release from Cricket West Indies, Solozano's scans showed no structural damage but he would be kept at the hospital overnight for observation.