| Brian Lara crashes one to the boundary en route to his 209 in St Lucia Tuesday. ( AFP)
Gros Islet (St Lucia): Openers Maravan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya made unbeaten half centuries as the first Test between the West Indies and Sri Lanka ended in a draw on Tuesday.
The Sri Lankan pair took few risks after the West Indies declared at tea on 477 for nine in reply to the tourists’ first innings of 354. Sri Lanka made 126 without loss in their second innings as play was concluded.
The West Indies captain Brian Lara had lit up the final day of the rain-hit match reaching a majestic 209, but with a day and half of play lost to rain, it came too late to put Sri Lanka under any pressure.
Lara admitted that the circumstances of the match had left him to rate the innings behind his four other double centuries.
“It falls behind the others but the important thing is that it is in the present and it builds up for a good ending to the series in the second Test in Jamaica,” he said.
Jayasuriya, struggling to regain form, also became the third Sri Lankan to complete 5,000 Test runs after Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga.
Lara’s fifth time past 200 was laced with 24 boundaries and one triumphant six launched in celebration of his double century. He had survived a scare early in the day when Muralidharan lured him out of his crease, but Romesh Kaluwitharana missed the stumping chance.
Edwards in squad
The West Indies selectors named 21-year-old fast bowler Fidel Edwards in the 14-man squad in place of Carlton Baugh on Tuesday for the second Test.