Captain Jayawardene keeps Sri Lanka rolling

Published: Sunday, March 23, 2008, 22:23 [IST]
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Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene completed a half-century before lunch on the second day in the opening Test against West Indies to keep his side on track for a formidable total at the Guyana National Stadium on Sunday.

At the interval, Sri Lanka, having chosen to bat, reached 330 for five in their first innings with Jayawardene unbeaten on 59 and his unrelated namesake Prasanna Jayawardene not out on 21.

The pair has added 53 - unbroken - for the sixth wicket, after Jayawardene glanced Daren Powell to deep fine leg for the last of his six boundaries to arrive at his landmark.

Sri Lanka continued from their overnight total of 269 for four, and lost Tillakeratne Dilshan in the first half-hour, when he was adjudged lbw to Jerome Taylor for 20 playing half-forward and across a well-pitched delivery that moved back.

Sri Lanka wicketkeeper/batsman Prasanna Jayawardene joined his captain and they defied the now energised West Indies, but they were both fortunate.

Captain Jayawardene saw a top-edged cut at a delivery from left-arm spin bowler Sulieman Benn fly past his opposite number Chris Gayle's desperate grab at slip when he was 39.

Just prior to the interval, Prasanna Jayawardene watched a short delivery from Dwayne Bravo drop millimetres short of Benn at mid-wicket when he essayed a pull.

The two Jayawardenes however, quickly regained their equilibrium and got back down to the business of building a big total.

Sri Lanka are aiming to win their first Test match in the Caribbean having lost two and drawn two in their previous four.

The visitors are also eyeing a Test series victory for the first time in the Caribbean.

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