Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: Kusal Mendis led a strong Sri Lankan second innings effort but West Indies still held the advantage at stumps on day four of the first Test at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad on Saturday.
Set a daunting target of 453 when the hosts declared their second innings at 223 for seven just after lunch, the visitors reached 176 for three by the close with Mendis unbeaten on 94.
They require another 277 runs on the final day and will be hoping their captain Dinesh Chandimal, who retired unwell on 15 in the afternoon session, can resume his innings to bolster a team that looked completely out of contention at the start of the day's play.
Given that the world record for the highest successful run chase in the fourth innings of a Test match is 418 –- set by the West Indies against Australia in Antigua in 2003 -– the odds are very much stacked against the Sri Lankans, especially with the pitch offering more variable bounce that could prove increasingly hazardous on the final day.
However, if Mendis can replicate the determination he showed through nearly four hours at the crease and get the support from his teammates, starting with nightwatchman Lahiru Gamage, then a draw at the very least still remains a possibility.
His innings has not been without incident, though, as he would have been given out caught behind off fast bowler Shannon Gabriel when on six had West Indies captain Jason Holder opted for a television referral of the not out ruling given on the field.