The West Indies avoided a follow-on by reaching 215 for eight at lunch on the third day of the third Test in Galle, trailing hosts Sri Lanka by 171 runs.
Rahkeem Cornwall was on 33 not out off 43 balls, including five fours and a six, at the interval, while Joshua Da Silva was on nine.
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Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers resumed on a precarious overnight score of 113-6, needing to reach 187 to avoid having to bat again, and the pair added 63 runs for the seventh wicket in the visitors’ highest first innings partnership.
Dhananjaya de Silva, Sri Lanka’s part-time off-spinner, finally broke through when he induced Mayers, on 45, into an off-drive. which captain Dimuth Karunaratne took brilliantly at short cover. Holder hit two sixes and three fours before being caught on 36 by Dushmantha Chameera, who dived to take a good catch, giving Praveen Jayawickrama his third wicket of the innings, leaving the visitors 175-8.
With only two wickets in hand, the West Indies required 12 more to avoid a follow-on, which they achieved when Cornwall pulled Jayawickrama to the mid-wicket boundary.
Cornwall then reached 200 with a slog six off Mendis while putting on 40 with Da Silva.
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