Galle, Oct 16 : The West Indies were battling to avoid the follow-on at tea on day three of the first Test here today, still trailing Sri Lanka by 243 runs with only two wickets remaining. Replying to Sri Lanka’s formidable first innings total of 484 all out, the visitors were 241-8 at the interval with Kemar Roach on 19 and Devendra Bishoo on 16. They need another 44 runs to make their hosts bat again. (Also Read: Alastair Cook’s double frustrates Pakistan in first Test)

Veteran spinner Rangana Herath did most of the damage in the innings, taking four for 66. But the three wickets that fell in a slow-scoring afternoon session were shared between the pacemen Nuwan Pradeep and Dhammika Prasad, along with off spinner Tharindu Kaushal. After Darren Bravo perished shortly before lunch for 50, Jerome Taylor offered the main resistance after the break.

He scored 31 runs, including four boundaries and a six as he enjoyed a 46-run partnership with Roach. But Taylor then fell to Kaushal, driving at a flighted delivery that was snapped up by Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews in the slips. The tourists’ skipper Jason Holder was caught behind by wicketkeeper Kusal Janith Perera off Prasad for 19 while Denesh Ramdin fell in similar fashion off the bowling of Pradeep for 23. Sri Lanka’s first innings total was thanks mainly to big centuries from Dinesh Chandimal (151) and Dimuth Karunaratne (186).