Dhananjaya de Silva ended the West Indies’ hopes of a maiden win on Sri Lankan soil with a brilliant six-hour spell at the crease in Galle to finish day four with an unbeaten 153 on Thursday.
The tourists went wicketless through the final session, with Lasith Embuldeniya rounding out a record 107-run partnership.
Sri Lanka finished on 328 for eight at stumps and are ahead by 279 runs. No team has chased that many to win a Test match in Galle.
De Silva’s back to the wall knock helped the hosts out of trouble when he walked in to bat at 73-3, a lead of just 24.
Having first put up a 78-run stand with over-night batsman Pathum Nissanka, de Silva then went on to eke out a crucial partnership of 51 with Ramesh Mendis.
It was de Silva’s eighth Test ton and the 30-year-old ticked over 150 in style by driving Nkrumah Bonner for four.
The West Indies were ruing a dropped catch off de Silva when he was on five, with wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva spilling the chance.
The batsman made the tourists pay with an ex-cellent counterattack. To add insult to injury, Veerasammy Permaul dropped de Silva off his own bowling when he was on 116.
The West Indies trail the two-Test series 0-1. The highest successful run chase in Galle is 268 by Sri Lanka in 2019 against New Zealand. —Agencies