Kyle Mayers served warning on Sri Lanka with a rapid half-century while Roston Chase kept his name on the lips of selectors with a fluent fifty, as the two-day tour match ended in a predictable stalemate on Thursday.
Resuming the day at Coolidge Cricket Ground on 103 for one, the Cricket West Indies President’s XI were dismissed for 294 in their first innings with the left-handed Mayers smashing 57 from 66 balls with 11 fours.
Captain Chase chipped in with 52 to complete a handy all-round performance following his four-wicket haul in Sri Lanka’s first innings of 172 on Wednesday.
However, there was disappointment for the pair of Shai Hope and Darren Bravo who failed to build on innings of promise from overnight.
Hope, unbeaten on 60 at the start, added only eight before perishing in the morning’s fifth over while Bravo failed to add to his 30 after falling in the previous over.
Off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva (3-26) and left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya (3-69) grabbed three wickets apiece to warm up for Sunday’s start of the opening Test.
In their second turn at the crease, Sri Lanka reached 56 without loss with captain Dimuth Karunaratne ending unbeaten on 27 and Lahiru Thirimanne, 23 not out.
At the start of the day, the focus would have been on Hope and Bravo, who excited with delightful stroke-play on the previous evening.
However, Bravo lasted only 10 further deliveries before attempting to hit his 78th ball through the on side but succeeding only in edging a catch to gully off fast bowler Suranga Lakmal (2-14).
Hope looked to be continuing in the same vein when he added yet another boundary to his previous ten from the previous day but then fell to a brilliant running catch at backward point by Dinesh Chandimal, trying to whip pacer Vishwa Fernando through the on side.
Suddenly tottering on 111 for three, the President’s XI were lifted by the arrival of Mayers who dominated a 76-run fourth-wicket partnership with Shamarh Brooks (19) to push the score to 187 without further loss at lunch.
All told, Mayers struck 11 fours in just over 1-½ hours at the crease to bolster his confidence ahead of the first Test.
Unbeaten on 49 at lunch, he reached his half-century off the fifth delivery after the interval with a couple to deep point.
Brooks, meanwhile, perished to the second ball after the resumption without adding to his 19, brilliantly caught by Thirimanne diving low to his right at first slip, after edging a forward defensive prod at Dhananjaya.
Mayers, whose unbeaten double century on debut earned West Indies a historic win in Bangladesh last month, eventually departed in the fifth over of the session, bowled trying to whip a full-length delivery from Dhananjaya down the ground.
Chase then took command, striking eight fours in an 81-ball knock in 1-¾ hours, and adding 30 for the sixth wicket with Kavem Hodge (13) and a couple of small partnerships with the lower order as the President’s XI reached 275 for eight at tea.
The right-handed Chase was dismissed in the penultimate over before the break, lbw to Embuldeniya after missing an expansive sweep.