Sri Lanka 258 (Thirimanne 55, Nissanka 51, Roach 3-58) and 29 for 0 (Thirimanne 17*) need another 348 runs to beat West Indies 354 (Brathwaite 126, Cornwall 73, Lakmal 4-94, Chameera 3-69) and 280 for 4 dec (Brathwaite 85, Holder 71*, Lakmal 2-62)
Anitgua: Captain Kraigg Brathwaite led the way for the West Indies as they declared late on the fourth day to set Sri Lanka an imposing target of 377 runs to win the second test and the series.
Brathwaite, who scored 126 in the first innings, made 85 on Thursday as the West Indies scored 280-4 before declaring their second innings with 40 minutes left of the day’s play in Antigua.
Former skipper Jason Holder was 71 not out and Kyle Mayers 55 off 76 balls as the West Indies scored quickly in a bid to put the game beyond the tourists’ reach and give themselves enough time to bowl Sri Lanka out and secure victory.
Sri Lanka were 29-0 at the close after facing nine overs and need a further 348 runs to win.
Lahiru Thirimanne (17 not out) and Dimuth Karunaratne (11 not out) will resume on the final day at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium as they eye what would be the ninth highest successful run chase in test history.
Sri Lanka earlier resumed their first innings on 250-8 but lasted only 23 balls before being bowled out with the addition of only eight runs, although Pathum Nissanka reached his half century.
Brathwaite then led the West Indies effort in partnerships of 82 with Mayers and 87 with Holder.
Their cause was helped by a thigh injury suffered by Sri Lanka’s lead spinner Lasith Embuldeniya while fielding. He was taken to hospital and did not bowl in the Windies second innings.
The first test was drawn.