West Indies 268 for 8 (Cornwall 69*, Lakmal 5-45) lead Sri Lanka 169 (Thirimanne 70, Holder 5-27, Roach 3-47) by 99 runs
Antigua: Rahkeem Cornwall blasted a maiden Test half-century and dominated an eighth-wicket partnership of 90 with Joshua da Silva to lift the West Indies to 268 for eight in their first innings, a lead of 99 runs, at the close of the second day of the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Monday.
Cornwall was 60 not out at stumps, the first Antiguan to score a test half century at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Wickekeeper Da Silva made 46 and held together the West Indies lower middle order as they edged past Sri Lankas first innings of 169. The home side matched that total with six wickets down and Cornwall and Da Silva carried them to 268-8 at stumps.
Da Silvas patient stand was the most important of the innings until it was surpassed by Cornwall. He steadied the West Indies when they were 133-5 and the match was still in the balance.
Cornwall had been determined to make a statement with the bat. He told a local reporter before the match to tell the world Ive come to make a score.
The burly 1.96-meter paceman was as good as his word, reaching his first test 50 from 62 balls and breaking the mould on a day of slow scoring with nine fours and two sixes.
The partnership between Cornwall and Da Silva changed the course of the match.
Earlier, Sri Lanka had bowled well to contain the West Indies batsmen.
A 56-run second wicket partnership between John Campbell (42) and Nkrumah Bonner (31) was the best effort by the West Indies top order. But veteran Sri Lanka paceman Suranga Lakmal made inroads into the West Indies lineup, taking 5-45, his fourth five-wicket bag in tests.
Lakmal dismissed West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite (3), then removed Kyle Mayers when he looked dangerous on 45. He returned to bowl Jermaine Blackwood (2) and Jason Holder (19), leaving the West Indies 169-6.
Alzarri Joseph (0) was his fifth wicket.
The West Indies were 261-7 when Joshua was out shortly before stumps, caught behind after being lured into a loose shot by a short ball from Dushmantha Chameera.