Kraigg Brathwaite dug in for an unbeaten half-century and Sri Lanka were frustrated by the weather as an outstanding second Test for West Indies quick Shannon Gabriel was drawn in St Lucia.
The Windies were set an unlikely 296 to win after Gabriel took two early wickets to dismiss the tourists for 342, the paceman finishing with magnificent figures of second-innings figures of 8-62.
Gabriel’s match figures of 13-121 were the third-best in West Indies history, but there was a real danger he would end up on the losing side when the hosts were reduced to 64/4 before recovering to 147/5 when play ended prematurely with drizzle falling in fading light.
Opener Brathwaite showed great defiance to face 172 balls for his 59 not out and Shai Hope (39) also hung around, with rain and bad light also playing a big part in ensuring the Windies will take a 1-0 lead into the third and final Test in Bridgetown.
Gabriel wasted no time in ending Sri Lanka’s second innings, trapping Suranga Lakmal leg before and bowling Akila Dananjaya.
Kasun Rajitha (2-48) gave Sri Lanka the start they were looking for when he removed Devon Smith and Kieran Powell to leave the Windies in the mire on 8/2, then Hope retired hurt after taking a blow in the ribs from a rising Lahiru Kumara delivery.
Lakmal cleaned up Roston Chase with a sharp one that angled in and Shane Dowrich also failed, but Hope returned to support the gritty Brathwaite, who reached his half-century with a boundary down the ground off Dananjaya.
Dananjaya saw the back of Hope, but Brathwaite and captain Jason Holder were there when the contest was brought to an end after rain break had held up the frustrated tourists.