Chaminda Vaas took five wickets to bowl Sri Lanka to their first victory in the Caribbean, defeating the West Indies by 121 runs after tea on the final day of the opening Test in Georgetown, Guyana, on Wednesday.
The home team, set an unlikely victory target of 437, slumped from 156-1 to 315 all out.
Out-of-form captain Chris Gayle, batting at number six instead of his usual opener’s spot, hit a defiant 51 not out in 131 balls.
The West Indies, who began the day on 96-1, lost stand-in opener Dwayne Bravo before lunch when he was caught and bowled by off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for 83.
Bravo and Ramnaresh Sarwan shared a partnership of 134 for the second wicket.
Vaas then had Marlon Samuels caught behind for 10 before clean bowling Shivnarine Chanderpaul for three off an inside edge.
Fellow left-armer Thilan Thushara trapped Sarwan lbw for 72 before tea with a ball that appeared to be going down the leg side.
It was Sarwan’s second half-century of the match. He top-scored with 80 in the first innings.
In the final over before tea, Muralitharan had Ryan Hinds caught behind down the leg-side for 10.
Thushara had Denesh Ramdin caught at slip for one in the last session and Muralitharan followed up by trapping Sulieman Benn lbw for seven, leaving West Indies 244-8 with more than an hour left.
The hosts rallied as Gayle and Jerome Taylor added 47 for the ninth wicket but Vaas snatched victory with the second new ball.
Taylor was caught at third slip off Vaas for 12 and the Sri Lankan seamer finished things off when last-man Daren Powell (14) was brilliantly caught one-handed by Muralitharan running back at mid-off.
Vaas recorded figures of 5-61 while Muralitharan, who bowled unchanged in the morning session, chipped in with 3-112.
The second and final Test in Trinidad starts on April 3. — Reuters