The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sri Lanka unsteady post-Atapattu
- FIRST TEST l Collymore’s five helps WI fight back; Lara’s tally of catches now 123

Gros Islet (St Lucia), June 21 (AFP): Fast bowler Corey Collymore grabbed his maiden five-wicket haul to lead a West Indies fightback in the opening Test against Sri Lanka at the Beausejour Stadium here Saturday.

The 25-year-old took five for 62 as Sri Lanka slipped to 309 for eight by lunch in their first innings on the second day after resuming at a healthy 250 for four.

Chaminda Vaas (13) and Muttiah Muralidharan (9) were at the crease. Both were restrained in their approach after the quick dismissals that put the Lankans on the back foot in the morning.

Collymore did not allow Sri Lanka to strengthen their position with two quick wickets in his incisive opening spell with the second new ball taken after two overs in the morning.

The fast bowler, who had bagged just one wicket in his only Test in 1999 against Australia, trapped hard-hitting Romesh Kaluwitharana (2) leg-before and had Kaushal Lokuarachchi (15) caught by a diving Brian Lara in the slips.

Lara set a West Indies record of 123 Test catches by a fielder in his 95th match, surpassing Viv Richards’ previous mark of 122.

It was part-time seamer Wavell Hinds who provided a vital breakthrough when he had Sri Lankan opener Maravan Atapattu (118) caught by Lara in his first over of the day.

Atapattu was beaten by a delivery that moved away a bit and edged a drive straight to the West Indies captain.

The Sri Lankan opener had started with a cover-driven four off Collymore, but could add only 10 runs to his overnight score. Atapattu hit 15 fours in his 11th Test ton, the first against the West Indies and the fourth overseas.

The big moment for Collymore came when he got rid of Thilan Samaraweera (11) for the fifth victim in an innings in only his second Test.

Paceman Mervyn Dillon was the only seasoned bowler, but went wicketless despite bowling well in his opening spell and then troubling Mahela Jayawardene for a brief period.

Of the specialist bowlers, paceman Corey Collymore was playing his second Test and off-spinner Omari Banks his third.

Taylor, who turned 19 Saturday, made an unimpressive debut as he conceded 76 runs in 18 overs.

It was part-time spinner Chris Gayle who eventually broke the second-wicket stand in the afternoon session, but not before Atapattu and Sangakkara had put their team on course for a healthy total.

Sangakkara, who traded a few words with Lara over running on to the pitch, was trapped leg-before after reaching his 11th half-century in his 29th Test. He also became the ninth Sri Lankan to complete 2,000 Test runs during his 101-ball knock.

The West Indies' ordeal did not end after Sangakkara's dismissal as Jayawardene added 68 for the third wicket with Atapattu. He was caught by Lara off Banks after a brief interruption due to rain.

The home team's lone success in the morning came through Collymore, who returned to the squad after playing his only Test in 1999 against Australia in Antigua.

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