Brian Lara transformed an otherwise meaningless final day of the drawn first Test yesterday into a batting master class that gave St Lucia's rain-ruined inaugural Test a gem to be remembered by.
Delayed for more than a day and a half by torrential rain, the West Indies captain extended his 93 to 209, his 21st hundred and his fifth double in 95 Tests.
He was lucky to come through an early, searching examination by Muttiah Muralitharan, but once he had square-cut Chaminda Vaas for his ninth boundary to pass his first goal, he batted with increasing certainty and flair.
He added another 109 off 138 balls with 16 of his 25 fours and a straight six before finally edging to Romesh Kaluwitharana off Prabath Nissanka.
Sri Lanka batted through the last session leaving the final Test in Kingston starting on Friday to settle the series.
Final day; Sri Lanka won toss
SRI LANKA - First Innings 354 (M S Atapattu 118, K C Sangakkara 56; C D Collymore 5-67).
WEST INDIES - First Innings (Overnight: 284 for 4)
B C Lara c Kaluwitharana b Nissanka 209
M N Samuels st Kaluwitharana b Muralitharan 8
R D Jacobs lbw b Muralitharan 13
O A C Banks not out 50
M Dillon c Atapattu b Lokuarachchi 2
C D Collymore c and b Muralitharan 0
J E Taylor not out 9
Extras (b4 lb4 w2 nb17) 27
Total (for 9 dec, 138.3 overs) 477
Fall (cont): 5-279 6-305 7-441 8-447 9-448.
Bowling: Vaas 39-5-1-6-1; Nissanka 21.3-1-108-1; Samaraweera 8-0-53-0; Muralitharan 50-11-138-5; Lokuarachchi 20-6-54-1.
SRI LANKA - Second innings
M S Atapattu not out 50
S T Jayasuriya not out 72
Extras (b2 lb1 nb1) 4
Total (for 0, 34 overs) 126
Did not bat: *H P Tillakaratne, D P M D Jayawardene, K C Sangakkara, ÝR S Kaluwitharana, T T Samaraweera, W P U J C Vaas, R A P Nissanka, K S Lokuarachchi, M Muralitharan.
Bowling: Dillon 5-1-24-0; Collymore 3-0-8-0; Hinds 4-0-25-0; Taylor 6-1-19-0; Banks 10-0-28-0; Samuels 3-1-15-0; Sarwan 3-0-5-0.
Umpires: B F Bowden (NZ) and D J Harper (Aus).
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