REUTERS – Opener Dimuth Karunaratne missed out on a maiden double hundred but his 238-run stand with fellow centurion Dinesh Chandimal set Sri Lanka on course for a big first-innings total against West Indies in the opening test at Galle on Thursday.

The hosts, who won the toss and opted to bat, reached 448 for the loss of five wickets on the second day, with Karunaratne falling on 186 shortly before the lunch interval.

Captain Angelo Mathews (48) and wicketkeeper Kusal Perera (nine) were together at the tea break.

With the slow pitch offering little assistance for the bowlers, left-hander Karunaratne, unbeaten on 135 overnight, and Chandimal continued to plunder runs.

Karunaratne hit 16 boundaries and a six in his 354-ball knock and was finally out when he offered a return catch to part-time off-spinner Marlon Samuels.

West Indies made life difficult for themselves by spilling chances on Wednesday and they again failed to make most of their opportunities on the second morning.

Chandimal, who was dropped on 11, survived another chance on 82 when Jermaine Blackwood allowed the ball to burst through his fingers at point off fast bowler Shannon Gabriel.

Right-handed batsman Chandimal made the most of his luck and completed his fifth hundred in tests with a lofted drive over mid-off against Gabriel.

He hit 16 fours and two sixes in his stroke-filled 298-ball knock before falling for 151 to paceman Jerome Taylor.

West Indies got their second breakthrough of the afternoon session when debutant Milinda Siriwardana (one) edged Taylor to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John O’Brien)

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